Manchester United chief executive Ed Woodward could have saved himself an awful lot of trouble this summer by throwing the club’s considerable resources into securing the return of Cristiano Ronaldo to Old Trafford.
However, according to the United manager, Jose Mourinho, such a deal was never on the table, as reported by Sky Sports.
The Portuguese superstar left Real Madrid this summer after nine trophy-laden years at the Bernabeu. The 33-year-old has now begun a new chapter of his career with Italian giants Juventus, who sealed his arrival for a fee in the region of £100 million.
For many though, a far more romantic move would have been for Ronaldo to return to United. Earlier in his career, he spent six seasons with the Red Devils, winning three league titles in England and his first Champions League crown prior to his move to Madrid.
This summer, after a third successive Champions League triumph, Ronaldo elected to seek pastures new.
United endured a frustrating summer transfer window this time around, but the goodwill generated by Ronaldo’s return would potentially have rendered Woodward somewhat bulletproof from criticism this season. However, it would have been mere papering over the cracks, as Ronaldo is not what United needed, and now the Old Trafford hierarchy have no choice but to face up to their mistakes.
United’s deficiencies have already been laid bare this season, and they have nothing to do with lacking a top class attacker. Mourinho’s side’s problems are with his defensive and midfield contingents. Ronaldo’s presence would have done nothing to alleviate such woes but it could have been used to deflect blame.