Man Utd ‘surprised’ at Cristiano Ronaldo developments, with exit talk damaging Ten Hag striker search

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Cristiano Ronaldo looks dejected during the English FA Cup fourth round match between Manchester United and Middlesbrough Credit: PA Images
Cristiano Ronaldo looks dejected during the English FA Cup fourth round match between Manchester United and Middlesbrough Credit: PA Images

Manchester United did not expect to have to deal with talk of a Cristiano Ronaldo exit and the situation is damaging their transfer plans, according to Fabrizio Romano.

The 37-year-old signed a two-year deal at Old Trafford with the option of an extra year, but he already wants to leave. Following United’s sixth-placed Premier League finish last term, Ronaldo does not want to play Europa League football.

He is instead seeking a return to the Champions League. As it stands, though, it looks like he has limited options in the transfer market.

And Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag insisted earlier this month that he is planning for life with Ronaldo.

Ten Hag also wants to bring his own attacking reinforcements this summer. Ajax’s Brazilian star Antony is a key target.

According to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, though, United did not expect to have to deal with Ronaldo’s exit desire.

“My understanding earlier in the summer was that Man Utd would 100 per cent be in the market for a new central striker. They had an interest in Darwin Nunez before he went to Liverpool, but were unsure about the price.

“Since then, it’s certainly the case that the situation of Cristiano Ronaldo has surprised and slowed down Manchester United’s move of the new striker.”

Romano added that he would sign either Paulo Dybala or Jonathan David if he was in charge at Old Trafford.

Dybala has since left free agency to sign for Roma on a three-year contract. Canada international David, meanwhile, scored 19 goals in 47 games for Lille last season and is still only 22.

Man Utd have to get striker search right

Whoever United get in as their new striker, they have to get the decision right for the club’s long-term future.

For too many transfer windows now, the Red Devils have left it late and ended up getting short-term solutions.

Edinson Cavani and Odion Ighalo had their moments – Ighalo less so. Ronaldo, meanwhile, was United’s top scorer last season with 24 goals in 38 games.

However, United now need to invest in the long-term in a player like Antony.

At the age of 22, he has an abundance of untapped potential and could flourish if he rekindled with Ten Hag after their Ajax spell together.

The article Man Utd ‘surprised’ at Cristiano Ronaldo developments, with exit talk damaging Ten Hag striker search appeared first on Teamtalk.com.

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