Man Utd: What's going on with Raiola and Pogba?
Manchester United have reportedly made it clear they don’t intend to pursue a stunning return for Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo. The Serie A giants are eager to offload the 35-year-old as they look to balance their finances in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. And while talk of a potential swap deal involving Paul Pogba has arisen, that looks unlikely to happen.
United sold Ronaldo to Real Madrid back in the summer transfer window of 2009 after six successful years.
The Portugal international arrived as a raw 18-year-old, touching down as David Beckham’s replacement.
And he went on to become a superstar, firing United to three Premier League titles and three Champions League finals during his time at the Theatre of Dreams.
With Juventus wanting Pogba, talk of a potential swap deal has arisen.
Ronaldo earns a gargantuan £28million a year over in Turin and the Old Lady are looking to balance their finances in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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They know they wouldn’t get a fee for the 35-year-old, especially given his huge wages, and are looking at alternative ways to get him off the books.
Yet ESPN say United have told them they won’t be pursuing a deal for Ronaldo, and that the Juventus star isn’t on their radar.
However, while that’s the case, a stunning return can’t be ruled out entirely.
Firstly, because of the emotional lure. Bringing Ronaldo back would be a fairytale for many supporters and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer himself played alongside the Juventus star during his playing days.
Secondly, because it would suit United’s sponsors. Chevrolet are supposedly ready to bankroll a deal, while shirt sponsors Adidas would jump at the chance as well.
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And, thirdly, due to the fact that United are ready to make exceptions when it comes to signing older players.
They’ve been eager to move away from Galactico signings given the fact Angel Di Maria, Radamel Falcao, Alexis Sanchez and Bastian Schweinsteiger never lived up to expectations.
But they have bent their own rules in the past, signing stalwarts Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani in recent years.
Meanwhile, speaking recently, Solskjaer compared Bruno Fernandes to Ronaldo because of the impact he’s made at Old Trafford.
“He does definitely have that presence,” said the manager.
“He has that influence and impact on his teammates.
“We can just look at the results since he’s come in. He’s got lots of energy, leadership; he’s a team player, which is a key here now for us going forward.
“Some players will have to sit games out and rest. I wasn’t looking forward to telling Bruno that he was resting against Leipzig [for last month’s 5-0 Champions League win], but it was absolutely no problem. Same with Marcus [Rashford, who came on to score a quickfire hat-trick], to be fair.
“Because they know this season is challenging and that’s how we build this team and the culture of the team. It’s about the team and not individuals.
“Bruno has proven that, over and over, that it’s a team before I.”
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