Portuguese-speaking Gary Neville gives club hope for great season ahead – News Sky Sport 2021

Man Utd have agreed to bring Cristiano Ronaldo back to Old Trafford from Juventus; The Portuguese star scored 118 goals in 292 games for the club between 2003 and 2009, winning three Premier League titles and the Champions League.

Gary Neville and Cristiano Ronaldo were team-mates when the Portuguese was first at Old Trafford

Gary Neville says the return of Manchester United hero Cristiano Ronaldo to the club will give supporters hope for a great season to come.

United have agreed to re-sign the Portuguese striker from Juventus on a two-year deal and Neville says Ronaldo, who won three Premier League titles and the Champions League when he was first at the club, has can help Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side boost them. need to compete with the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool for the big trophies this season.

Ronaldo seems to be of course going to meet rivals Man City earlier on Friday but in a dramatic turn he is now looking to return to Old Trafford.

“It’s great news,” Neville told Sky Sports News. “It’s a bit nostalgic, which doesn’t always work in football, but the idea of ​​Ronaldo coming to Manchester City is a torture for United fans.

If a big player is available, United must enter the market. We know there’s a chance Erling Haaland could make his debut next summer, Edinson Cavani could have a year, they definitely need a centre-back option with Cavani.

“I know they’ve got Mason Greenwood but if you look at the work that Chelsea have done, that Manchester City are looking to do, Manchester United have to compete and what they’ve done is bolster the squad with an established goalscorer. prove, a legend of the club, and it will give them an incredible 12 months.

“Ronaldo will come to win trophies, individual titles, burn the Premier League. It’s another Ronaldo, everyone expects that.

“But he’s a number nine, one who still explodes over short distances, he runs very well in the box, predicts where the ball will fall and he gives United what they need.

“I said the other day that United should buy Harry Kane if he’s available, or Haaland. These types of players. To get ahead of Manchester City and Chelsea, they’re going to have to do something big and this can have a big impact. could give them a temporary shot in the arm to get them up there this year.

“I was a bit apprehensive watching Chelsea last weekend, knowing that City would come back strong, Liverpool had Virgil van Dijk back, that United could improve but finish lower. But the news. This gives me more hope that they can have great seasons.

“This is one of the most special players that ever lived, forget Manchester United, it’s one of the greatest players of all time.”

How much will Ronaldo pay for Man Utd?
Sky Sports News ‘Dharmesh Sheth in the Transfer Program:

“It’s 15 million euros (£12.8 million) plus 8 million euros (£6.8 million), so a total of about £19 million. With him, they want to sign him.

“It just reflects the connection he has had with the club from when he joined back in 2003 for that six-season period.”

How a ’24 hour whirlwind’ led to Ronaldo’s return
Sky Sports News ‘Dharmesh Sheth in the Transfer Program:

“The last 24 hours have been a whirlwind. I was checking my messages and one I got at 3.44pm yesterday I got a text saying City is the most likely destination , recently so.

“Yesterday, we learned that Jorge Mendes was speaking to the biggest clubs in European football, but did not receive any confirmation from United that they were approached.

“They are happy with the business they have done, I was told two weeks ago most of their business was done and they filled their priority positions earlier today. .

“His body language gave a person, as well as what he said. Simply because when asked about Ronaldo we expected him to be straight, but that didn’t happen.

“For him to come out and say that in a press conference was unbelievable, and we were thinking this happened all of a sudden! Mendes then approached United about a deal, and the pace which it sped up even surprised me.

“We went from there to advanced talks for Mendes to back United, for United to announce it.”

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Speaking to Sky Sports prior to confirmation of Cristiano Ronaldo’s move back to Manchester United, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says the Portugal forward is the greatest player of all time

By the time Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sat down for what can sometimes be a chaotic media call Zoom in at 13:15 BST on Friday afternoon, the Manchester United manager knew Cristiano Ronaldo would be back. Old Trafford.

Despite widespread speculation that Ronaldo would join Manchester City, United officials were fairly confident on Thursday night that the momentum surrounding the five-time Ballon D’Or winner’s return to the Premier League is shifting from Etihad Stadium and four miles through Manchester to Old Trafford .

The final push came the next morning, when former United manager Sir Alex Ferguson joined.

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Ronaldo’s return to United is a double-edged sword for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
The relationship between Ferguson and Ronaldo is very strong. Ronaldo still referred to the Scot as ‘The Boss’ long after he left Real Madrid in 2009. Ferguson begged Ronaldo to return to Old Trafford, knowing he would be seen as a hero. The alternative would be to tarnish the reputation, if any, even greater as United have struggled to regain their former glory since Ferguson’s retirement in 2013.

Ferguson’s words followed words of encouragement from Ronaldo’s former teammates Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra. Another former team-mate and current United technical director, Darren Fletcher has been mentioned to BBC Sport for also being part of a staged charm attack, which also involved the Portugal team-mate. by Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes.

By the time Solskjaer spoke to the media, Juventus coach Max Allegri had told the world that Ronaldo was leaving the club. The deal was, in fact, sealed.

In his way, Solskjaer doesn’t want to give anything away until it’s completely watertight. Three times he passed the question on Ronaldo before the Telegraph man had a final pass.

Why, he asked, why, if one of the greatest players in the world were present, would Manchester United not try to sign him?

Solskjaer kept his eyes on the camera and only gave qualification to those who were already worried about what was happening – and for some on Thursday – to make sure it turned out to be true. , even if the rest of the world fails to grasp the truth of it. meaning.

“I don’t think Cristiano will leave Juventus,” Solskjaer said. “There has been speculation.

“We always have a good communication. I know Bruno has also spoken to him. He knows how we feel about him. If he is going to leave Juventus, he knows we are here. .”

At that time, an official offer of 15 million euros, with an additional 8 million euros, was made to Juventus. Just over 3 hours later, Man United confirmed that it had reached an agreement to re-sign Ronaldo.

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United stepped out of the shadows
Along with Gareth Bale, Ronaldo is seen as one of the top targets United want to take them into the post-Ferguson era in 2013.

Rumors of a return to Old Trafford have sprung and circulated, often around contract negotiations, for years but it has never seemed especially so given the player has spent six years at United since 2003 to 2009, scoring 118 goals in 292 appearances, winning three Premier League titles. trophies and the Champions League, will eventually return.

United have been monitoring Ronaldo’s chaotic club situation at Juventus throughout the summer. Juve have been struggling with major financial problems and are still at war with Uefa over the doomed Super League project which United, along with five other English clubs, were quickly abandoned.

The line of communication with the player’s longtime agent Jorge Mendes remains open. But when rumors of Ronaldo potentially joining Paris St-Germain began to surface, as Solskjaer said, United remained in the background. They think it is likely that Ronaldo will play in the final year of his contract in Turin.

Their antenna was only properly raised when Manchester City stepped in.

Depending on who you talk to, as of Thursday night, City is thinking about doing a deal or claiming it’s done. Good sources suggest the Blues are more interested but are not entirely sure how to make a deal, as they need them to sell someone, something this summer’s transfer market has not proven to be. easily.

Only then did United switch gear and make their throw.

Ronaldo signed for Manchester United in 2003 and scored 118 goals for the club

While elite football clubs don’t need to justify their transfer decisions, many choose to.

For United, Ronaldo’s return is a reconnection with the club’s recent glorious past. If a club legend were tasked with ‘rebooting the culture’ when Solskjaer was appointed Jose Mourinho’s replacement, initially on an interim basis, in December 2019, there are no examples more amazing of what United were Ronaldo.

During the three seasons 2006-07 and 2008-09, the Portuguese brought the club moments of pure genius.

But this transition is about the present.

United are not alone in their thinking, even at the age of 36, Ronaldo retains many of the attributes that have made him regarded, along with Lionel Messi, as one of the greatest players of all time. Last season, he overtook Romelu Lukaku as the Italian Golden Shoe winner thanks to his 29 goals.

Ronaldo’s legendary fitness and professionalism are seen as proof that he is fully deserving of the two-year deal he will receive from United – and will be confirmed when the move is complete. sometime before Tuesday’s 23:00 BST deadline.

United think Ronaldo fits their stated goal of combining world-class signings with talented young players. They still feel their squad is one of the youngest in the Premier League.

In addition, they see the deal – along with the signings of Rafael Varane and Jadon Sancho – as proof that United are still capable of attracting the best players; that outgoing executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward can complete the biggest transfers and that star names are happy to play for Solskjaer, mocked by some wicked critics as gym teachers .

In addition to the economic impact of the Covid pandemic, which cost them £150m in unrecoverable income, United are also mindful of the ongoing impact that the coronavirus is continuing to have.

The club have had first-hand experience of this during the current campaign after goalkeeper Dean Henderson was hit hard after signing.

But it also has the potential to impact the club in other ways.

Amid the ongoing issue of player availability for next month’s World Cup qualifiers, United forward Edinson Cavani appears to have questioned the Premier League’s decision to turn away key players. association representing their country if it involves them having to self-isolate for 10 days upon their return to the UK.

United have made it clear they are not interested in selling Cavani or canceling the contract Solskjaer convinced the 34-year-old to sign in May.

However, Ronaldo’s arrival gives them some additional flexibility in how they empathize with a player whose representation of his country is of great importance.

It may not provide an answer to the conundrum of which number shirt Ronaldo will wear – even if Cavani is willing to hand over his number seven shirt, Premier League rules prevent swapping between season except in the most extreme cases – but it could be helpful to deal with a player whose game time in England was threatened by a three-match ban because of a social media post by the League English football considered discriminatory.

Plan to return home
It is expected that Ronaldo will undergo a medical in Portugal before gathering with his country for two World Cup qualifiers, the last of which is in Azerbaijan on Tuesday, September 7.

That would, in theory, get him on his second United debut, against Newcastle, next Saturday in a match not selected for live television but will almost certainly be. BBC Radio 5’s Live commentary option.

The last time Ronaldo faced Newcastle for Manchester United at Old Trafford, he scored a hat-trick in a 6-0 win, underscoring why, almost entirely, fans reacted to the news of the move. His return is filled with joy.

Real success in the 36-year-old’s comeback can only be measured by what goes on on the pitch – but if any guidance is taken from the reaction for the end result of a great day At the very least, the fact that Manchester United buys Cristiano Ronaldo is a certainty. – winner.

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