Cristiano Ronaldo’s first goal on Man Utd return in pictures
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Cristiano Ronaldo could leave Real Madrid for Manchester United in the summer of 2023, Steve McManaman believes. The Portugal international has been a shining light for the Red Devils this season, scoring 13 goals across all competitions. Yet with the club facing a fight to qualify for the Champions League, a move away from Old Trafford has been tipped.
Back in the summer, Ronaldo was linked with Real Madrid at a time where his Juventus future was coming to an end.
However, in the end, he made a sensational return to Manchester United after 12 years away from Old Trafford.
Ronaldo hasn’t disappointed in the time since, with the 36-year-old continuing to defy his age by netting 13 goals across all competitions.
An impressive six of those have come in the Champions League, from just five matches.
However, United have been way below expectations and, with that being the case, Ronaldo has been linked with a move away.
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Real, as one of the richest clubs on the planet, are potential suitors for the veteran.
Ronaldo previously dazzled at the Bernabeu, scoring 450 goals from 438 matches during his nine-year stint in Spain.
And McManaman, who also played for Los Blancos, believes a return to the Bernabeu for the United star is ‘not impossible’.
“It’s not impossible. Nothing is impossible when you’re talking about Real Madrid,” he wrote in his column for Horse Racing.net.
“They haven’t spent much money in recent times so they now have a war chest of cash to spend.
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“They’ve been renovating the stadium and then of course COVID happened, so Real have been getting themselves ready for when they come out the other side, like most teams have.
“Barcelona may be struggling but Real Madrid are flourishing. They’ve got money and there’s a good chance that Kylian Mbappe will go there as well as Antonio Rudiger for free.
“They also sound as if they’re interested in Erling Haaland who they can bring in if they want too.
“The renovation of the Bernabeu almost symbolises a new dawn at Real Madrid. There’s a lot of opportunities for players to go to Real Madrid.”
McManaman does think, however, that a return to Real for Ronaldo is only possible in 2023.
“They’ve got the funds to battle with other teams and if Mbappe goes there then it looks even more enticing for other players to go,” he continued.
“Cristiano could go back but I think he will have another year at Manchester United and then see.”
United won’t want to lose Ronaldo, not while he’s so deadly in front of goal.
But they do plan on signing a new striker this summer, with Erling Haaland currently their No 1 target.
Meanwhile, speaking after United’s win over Norwich, Red Devils boss Ralf Rangnick challenged Ronaldo and his fellow forwards to do more.
The veteran netted the only goal of the game during the match at Carrow Road.
And Rangnick said: “It is not only the back four or the two sixes or the goalkeeper, the whole team has to defend in unison, together as a team.
“It is about taking next steps. It is easier to take those steps if you are winning games.
“It was the third consecutive win in this season and the second clean sheet. Those are the things we can build up upon.
“In defence, the full-backs, centre-backs and two sixes did extremely well.
“Now we have to try and raise the level we play against the ball up front.”
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