Manchester United have been linked with a remarkable move for Juventus striker Cristiano Ronaldo this summer.
What’s the story?
According to Italian outlet La Gazzetta dello Sport (as cited by the Daily Mail), United have offered the 36-year-old monster a £17 million-a-year offer to make a return to Old Trafford over the coming months.
The report also claims that Paul Pogba could move in the opposite direction if a deal can be agreed, meaning the France international would be reunited with Massimiliano Allegri in Turin.
Solskjaer must avoid
He’s arguably the greatest footballer to ever play the beautiful game, but his powers are waning, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer must avoid the temptation to bring him back to Manchester.
While Ronaldo is still capable of finding the back of the net on a regular basis, he now needs to be supplied with a constant stream of precise passes and perfect crosses to be effective.
His lack of mobility severely hampers teams, somewhat limiting the options for any manager that he plays for.
In the modern era, pressing has become a popular and fashionable part of the game, forming the foundation for successful teams such as Liverpool, Manchester City and RB Leipzig.
Having Ronaldo at the top end of the pitch makes it impossible to implement such a tactic, given his physical limitations.
Although United have pressed effectively on occasion, notably against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last season, Solskjaer often prefers his team to counter-attack, hitting teams on the break with fast, precise and dynamic moves.
Again, Ronaldo is now incapable of playing effectively in this style on a regular basis. The Red Devils’ boss must weigh up what the five-time Champions League winner would take away from his side against what he would add.
A constant supply of goals for a season or two in a desperate, short-sighted attempt to win silverware versus a complete reversal on the DNA he has worked so hard to embed throughout his reign.
Ronaldo was asked about a potential move away from the Allianz Stadium ahead of his nation’s opening Euro 2020 fixture against Hungary.
“I have been playing at the highest level for many years, this doesn’t faze me,” said the Portugal captain.
“Maybe if I was 18 or 19, I might have had some sleepless nights, but I’m 36. Whatever comes will be for the best, regardless of staying at Juve or being transferred.”
The Old Lady’s talisman will always be remembered fondly by United supporters for his previous endeavours at the club, but a return shouldn’t be considered and Ed Woodward must avoid making a transfer mistake by bringing in the £500,000-per-week superstar.