Solskjaer settles Man Utd debate over Ronaldo and Fernandes penalty duty

Date published: Saturday 11th September 2021 10:58 - James Marshment

The Portuguese National Team in the Bessa Sec.XXI Stadium with Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes training

Ole Gunnar Solskaer has addressed who will take Manchester United’s penalties going forwards following Cristiano Ronaldo’s return to Old Trafford.

Ronaldo’s sensational return at the age of 36 is one of the biggest talking points of an incredible summer transfer window. Despite talks with Manchester City, the Red Devils stepped in late in the day to secure his signing. Indeed, Solskjaer could not resist a litle jibe at City when discussing Ronaldo’s return.

With the Portuguese superstar confirmed to start Saturday’s clash against Newcastle, debate has surrounded which star will drop out.

Furthermore, talk has also ensued about who will now become Manchester United’s penalty taker.

Fernandes has assumed the role since his signing from Sporting Lisbon. Indeed, he has a great record from the spot for United, scoring 22 out of 23 kicks taken. His only miss, in fact, is against Saturday’s opponents Newcastle.

Ronaldo, meanwhile, boasts an 83% penalty success rate. He has converted 139 spot-kicks during his career, missing 28. He was United’s penalty taker before leaving for Real Madrid in 2009 and will be hoping to reclaim the mantle.

However, Solskjaer admits he’s had a discussion with the two players in anticipation of the ‘problem’. And he has made it clear who will get the nod, having revealed his decision to the Portuguese duo.

“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.”

Solskjaer has also hinted that Ronaldo will play a part against Newcastle on Saturday.

“He’s been having a good pre-season with Juventus. He’s played for the national team, he’s had a good week with us here,” Solskjaer added.

“He’ll definitely be on the pitch at some point, that’s for sure.

“He’s been good [in training]. Of course, we’ve followed his career from afar since he left here and everyone’s very happy to have him back.

“He can speak for himself, but it seems like he’s happy to be back as well. The mood has been very good, he’s worked well and we’re looking forward to Saturday of course.”

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

United ready to hand Bruno Fernandes new deal

United, meanwhile, remain strong in their desire to reward Fernandes with a new contract, though a potential hitch in negotiations has been cited.

Following his success at Old Trafford, United were reported in August to be ‘keen’ to renew the 26-year-old’s contract.

The Sun suggested a deal worth £300,000-per-week could be offered. Though with four years plus an option for an additional year remaining on his current deal, the ball is in the club’s court.

Nevertheless, the Mirror insist Man Utd will not bow to the demands of Fernandes’ agent, Miguel Pinto.

They previously reported Pinto flew in to Manchester at the end of last season in the hopes of negotiating a new deal for his client.

Top of Pinto’s agenda was apparently the insertion of a release clause, something Man Utd ‘immediately dismissed.’

That particular aspect of a deal will likely surface again during further talks. But the article hints a chat with fellow countryman Ronaldo could leave United in a stronger position to negotiate the deal they want with Fernandes.

READ MORE: Murtough plots January coup to pair Ronaldo with another world superstar

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