Man Utd told two players they should have signed instead of Cristiano Ronaldo

Ralf Rangnick discusses Ronaldo's fitness

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Manchester United should have signed either Declan Rice or Jude Bellingham instead of Cristiano Ronaldo last summer, claims former Liverpool and Everton midfielder Don Hutchison. United agreed to pay up to £20million to Juventus to bring Ronaldo back to Old Trafford. But Hutchison believes the fee for the Portugal superstar, as well as his astronomical wages, would have been better off put towards one of the two England internationals.

Ronaldo had a superb Champions League group stage for United, scoring six goals in five matches.

His late goals in three of those games ultimately played a huge part in the Red Devils qualifying for the knockout stages.

However, he has not managed to be as prolific in the Premier League, scoring eight times in 16 outings.

Ronaldo turns 37 next month and there has already been speculation that this could be his only season back at United.

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Hutchison says West Ham star Rice and Borussia Dortmund sensation Jude Bellingham would have been wiser, longer-term recruits for United.

“I would have thought that money would have been better off spent signing someone like Declan Rice or Jude Bellingham,” he told ESPN FC’s Extra Time.

“I think those are the guys that would improve Man United’s midfield.

“I don’t think it’s a mistake signing Ronaldo, because without him they wouldn’t even be in the last-16 of the Champions League.

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“[Rice] would [be a lot more money] but you’re going to get Declan Rice for eight years, 10 years.

“What are you going to get out of Ronaldo? You’re going to get one season, are his legs still going to be there next season?

“He can still do a job, Ronaldo, but I think when you look at that engine room, people like Bellingham and Declan Rice, they’re going to be the future superstars.”

Meanwhile, former Arsenal midfielder Stewart Robson is not surprised by United’s struggles since Ronaldo’s return.

And he says interim boss Ralf Rangnick has a job on his hands getting a tune out of the 36-year-old.

“I thought he was a bit of a problem at Juventus,” Robson said.

“Although he scored a lot of goals, it meant they couldn’t have a disciplined team shape.

“Quite often he went where he wanted to go and that’s been a little bit of the case at Manchester United.

“I think it’s going to be difficult for Rangnick to get a position for him and to get a style of play for him, because he does what he wants.

“So everybody else has to work around him and I’m not sure that’s what Rangnick wants at Manchester United.

“So it’s not been a success so far, apart from in the Champions League.”

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