Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s cavalier response to Man City’s Ronaldo hope

Date published: Saturday 11th September 2021 8:30 - Matthew Briggs

Cristiano Ronaldo chats with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Man Utd training (pic from MUFC)

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been probed about the prospect of Manchester City signing Cristiano Ronaldo this summer.

But the Manchester United boss was pretty dismissive of City’s efforts to sign the 36-year-old.

Ronaldo will make an emotional Manchester United return on Saturday at Old Trafford against Newcastle, 12 years after he left them to join Real Madrid.

But it looked as though City were going to land the Portugal superstar last month after it emerged he was leaving Juventus. City were understood to be in talks to sign Ronaldo, but United officials moved quickly to hijack the transfer.

United then got the deal done quickly with  Ronaldo signing a two-year deal with the option of a third.

United are paying £12.86m for Ronaldo plus £6.86m in potential add-ons.

Asked how he felt at the prospect of Ronaldo joining City, Solskjaer said: “I don’t think there was any prospect of that.”

Ronaldo is expected to start against Newcastle on Saturday and his arrival has increased the pressure on United this term.

Wayne Rooney said this week that United must be in the title mix this season.

“I think United are finally ready to go and challenge for the title, and I really feel they have to, this year,” said the former United striker.

Solskjaer though has welcomed the pressure.

“The pressure is a privilege,” said Solskjaer. “At Manchester United, you want that pressure.

“As a player, coach or manager, if you want an easy life, you go mid-table somewhere.

“No, we want that pressure. We feel it, but that makes you feel alive.”

Betting Preview: Man Utd vs Newcastle – Magpies to suffer on Ronaldo’s homecoming

Who is on penalties?

Solskjaer also refused to say whether Ronaldo or his compatriot Bruno Fernandes, the current penalty taker, will be on spot-kick duties.

“I’ve had a chat with the two of them,” said Solskjaer. “We’ve got two players there that I’d trust with my life to put a penalty away. And that’s a great position to be in.

“They’ll know via the conversations we’ve had and the conversations we’ll have before the games, how we’re going to solve this.

“It’s going to be my decision what will happen. The two of them will keep on doing what they do when they’re asked to take the penalties.”

READ MORE: Ronaldo sends bullish Man Utd message with major hint on length of stay


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