After a season where a bang average Manchester United captured two major trophies and look to push on next season, the club and fans are desperate for a spark to lift the atmosphere around Old Trafford. What could be more satisfying than a return for the prodigal son, Cristiano Ronaldo?
In recent days, United has been linked with the Portuguese superstar after insisting that he wants to leave Real Madrid. Since then, rumours have emerged that the former Sporting Lisbon youngster would love a return to Old Trafford. United fans across the globe have been calling for chief executive, Ed Woodward, to seal the deal. But let’s be clear, is Ronaldo worth the trouble at 32 years old? What would United gain or possibly lose to acquire one of the best finishers in the modern game?
A deal for Ronaldo would certainly cost a world record fee and from a business perspective it makes perfect with the commercial success that would materialise should the reigning Ballon D’or winner return to Old Trafford. However, news has broken in England, Italy and Spain that it could take a deal that involves Spanish goalkeeper, David de Gea, a long term transfer target for Real Madrid, for any sort of an agreement to arise.
The former Atlético Madrid shot-stopper is one of the best, if not the best goalkeeper in the world and won United’s Player of the Year award three times in the least four seasons. With the struggles at Old Trafford since the departure of legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson, the club’s board along with the fans have much to ponder about any potential move with these two. As a club that always seems to focus on the long term, the Red Devils must consider which of the two is of more importance to the purpose of the club over the next five years and beyond.
Ronaldo is very much entering the twilight of his career and perhaps has maybe just about two or three ‘proper’ years in his legs. There may also be a counter to this suggestion, because it is well documented how well the Portuguese all-time leading scorer looks after his body and therefore may be in great shape despite his age. However, the intensity of the Premier League along with the extremely hectic schedule balancing club and international obligations could very well prove to be a step too far for even this exceptionally supreme athlete. Signing Ronaldo would definitely give the club a huge boost. But this is more of a romance story and another short-term fix following the exploits of Zlatan Ibrahimović last season. It would take a significant investment to resign the reigning FIFA World Player of the Year with virtually very little or no resale value, which is totally against the ethos of what Man United stands for.