Rio Ferdinand has called Manchester United’s recent transfer window ‘the best for many years’, while also rating their chances of a trophy.
The Red Devils signed three big-name players during the summer, spending around £127million in the process. France international Raphael Varane and England star Jadon Sancho arrived from Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund respectively.
United then sent social media into meltdown by announcing the return of Cristiano Ronaldo, 12 years on from his transfer to Real. The Portugal attacker will wear the number seven shirt after new team-mate Edinson Cavani stepped aside.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men are now strong contenders for the Premier League title. However, rivals Manchester City, 2019-20 winners Liverpool and Champions League holders Chelsea all look strong too. We could be about to witness one of the best title races in recent memory as a result.
When asked about United’s summer signings, Ferdinand told the Mirror: “This is Ole’s squad now – there had been a hangover from previous managers, but he’s probably had the best window Man United have had in many years.
“He’s brought in two proven winners – two certified world-class players, including one of the greatest players of all time – and another lad who we think is going to be right up there.
“Par for the course would be improvement on last season, where they finished runners-up in the Premier League and reached a final in Europe.
“Year on year, Ole has delivered improvement – and if he does it again this season, that should put United in touching distance of at least one major trophy.”
On Ronaldo’s return, Ferdinand added: “Like everyone else, I can’t wait for Ronaldo to emerge from that tunnel on Saturday [and] listen to the reception he gets. To see him back in that red shirt.
“I don’t think there has ever been a bigger signing in this country, in terms of the excitement it’s generated. It’s been crazy, but that’s what happens when you bring one of the greatest players ever to play the game back to English football. You are talking about the best of the best, and he’s right here, right now.
“I was as excited as any fan when I heard he had agreed terms for another stint at United. I couldn’t wait for that signature on the contract to make it official and the yellow tickertape to appear at the bottom of the screen or the apps on my phone.
“Deep down, I didn’t think my kids would ever get the chance to see Cristiano Ronaldo playing in a Manchester United shirt – I thought they had missed the boat, so for them to have this opportunity is a privilege for me as a parent.”
The forward will be looking to add to the 118 goals he scored during his first spell at Old Trafford.
Five linked with Man Utd exit
Up to five first-team players could be sold by United in the January window, according to the Manchester Evening News.
They claim that Phil Jones, Eric Bailly and Nemanja Matic are all at risk of being transfer listed.
More surprising names on the record are Jesse Lingard and Donny van de Beek.
Lingard excelled during a recent loan spell with West Ham, while van de Beek was only bought by the club last year.