Roy Keane reckons there is no chance Cristiano Ronaldo will stay at Manchester United next season unless Eri ten Hag can gurantee him regular first-team football
Cristiano Ronaldo could join the long list of Manchester United players set to leave Old Trafford this summer.
Erik ten Hag is set to oversee a major rebuild with up to as many as 12 players departing the club in what will be a busy transfer window for the Red Devils. And the Portugal star could bring that number up to 13 with his future still up in the air.
Ronaldo’s performances are certainly deserving of a place in United’s side next season but other factors come into play. Ten Hag could choose to invest in new blood, while equally the 37-year-old might not be willing to entertain the Dutchman’s project.
Roy Keane reckons there is no chance Ronaldo will stay at Old Trafford unless he is playing regular first-team football and is worried that Ten Hag can’t offer him that as he looks to sign a new striker.
“I think Ten Hag will have been watching tonight and will have had a sleepless night watching that team,” Keane told Sky Sports. “But I think if you’ve got a player in your group that can score that amount of goals, they have to be involved.
“Now, Ronaldo will want to play week in and week out and that will be the problem. The new manager comes in and whether he’ll be looking for another striker.
“But Ronaldo won’t be hanging around unless he’s playing week in and week out. He won’t mind being rested for the odd League Cup game or a European game if they’re already through, but we saw his disappointment going back a few months, whether it was Chelsea and then City…and the injuries started popping up.
“I think he wants to play week in and week out and that will be the problem for the manager because he’s probably looking and going ‘I’ll probably have to rotate you in certain games’.”
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United’s attack was already set for a new look with Edinson Cavani and Antony Martial set to leave, but If Ronaldo doesn’t ‘hang around’ then there could be multiple additions. First and foremost, they’ll need to replace his 23 goals from this season (and counting) from somewhere and a proven goalscorer will be required.
Darwin Nunez could fill that void as the Benfica rising star continues to attract attention from the likes of United. Jadon Sancho will be deployed on the left wing while ten Hag could bring Ajax attacker Antony with him to Old Trafford to complete the attacking trio.
There will be plenty of new faces in defence and midfield too as Jurrien Timber could also join his former manager in Manchester with Harry Maguire’s future in doubt, while Ruben Neves would be a cheaper alternative to Declan Rice given the money they would have to spend on Ronaldo’s replacement.
Possible Man Utd XI under Ten Hag without Ronaldo : David de Gea, Diogo Dalot, Raphael Varane, Jurrien Timber, Luke Shaw, Scott McTominay, Ruben Neves, Bruno Fernandes, Jadon Sancho, Antony, Darwin Nunez.