Which club might Cristiano Ronaldo join if he leaves Man United?
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Manchester United have been warned that their attacking options will be inferior to Tottenham’s if they allow Cristiano Ronaldo to leave. Former Spurs ace Danny Murphy believes that Erik ten Hag will be left with inferior options to Antonio Conte after a contrasting summer transfer window for the two clubs.
The 37-year-old is still set on leaving United this summer after making clear his desire to play in the Champions League. The veteran striker has been offered to Chelsea, PSG, Atletico Madrid and Bayern Munich, but all four clubs have declined to make an offer while United insist he is not for sale.
A loan move before the end of the window cannot be ruled out, however, with Napoli and Sporting Lisbon possible destinations for Ronaldo as they will go into the group stage of Europe’s premier club competition in 2022-23.
United boss Erik ten Hag has made just three signings this summer, welcoming Tyrell Malacia, Christian Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez. The Red Devils have focused most of their efforts on attempting to lure Frenkie de Jong to Old Trafford, but the Barcelona star’s reluctance means they may have to focus elsewhere.
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But in north London, Tottenham head coach Conte has been busy in the market after securing six new players. Spurs spent £60m to prise Richarlison away from Everton, with Yves Bissouma, Djed Spence, Ivan Perisic, Fraser Forster and Clement Lenglet all arriving this summer.
In weighing up the difference between the two squads, player-turned-pundit Murphy has rated Spurs’ squad as being the more attractive of the two — highlighting the difference in quality up front now that Conte has added Richarlison.
And he believes Ten Hag could be left in an unfavourable position if Ronaldo heads for the exit, with the Dutchman lacking in quality players to choose from up front.
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“Which squad would you rather have? I think Conte will be happy with what he’s got,” Murphy wrote in his Daily Mail column.
“He can pick a front three of Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and Richarlison. If Ronaldo goes, United have Jadon Sancho, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford. It’s not the same.”
While United fans may feel like they can go on without Ronaldo under Ten Hag’s guidance, the veteran striker scored 18 goals in the Premier League last season.
Between the three of them, Sancho, Rashford and Martial managed just eight in total — although the latter spent half of the season on loan at Sevilla.
Still, it points to why Ten Hag is determined to keep his talisman this summer, declaring the star forward is “not for sale”, even if the triumvirate of Martial, Sancho and Rashford have found form in front of goal in pre-season with eight goals combined.
Ronaldo made his first appearance of pre-season in the 1-1 draw with Rayo Vallecano on Sunday, having missed the tour of Asia and Australia due to personal reasons.
But his return to action did not go to plan for the Portuguese superstar, who was withdrawn at the interval and reportedly left the stadium before the match had ended.
The ongoing uncertainty over his future will no doubt give Ten Hag and the club’s fans some cause for concern, with the new Premier League season getting underway this weekend.
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