Gary Neville believes Cristiano Ronaldo will stay at Manchester United next season, at least to avoid looking like he wants to run away. Along with goalkeeper David de Gea, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner has been a stand-out in an otherwise dismal term for the Old Trafford giants.
Ronaldo completed a sensational return move to United last summer after 12 years with Real Madrid and Juventus. However, while that second coming has brought 24 goals in all competitions — 18 of them in the Premier League — there has been precious little to savour from a team perspective.
United saw their title ambitions dashed by November when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked and they faded away from top-four contention, too, after revising their targets under Ralf Rangnick. The interim manager is now ready to hand over control to his permanent successor Erik ten Hag.
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The current Ajax boss will touch down at Old Trafford this summer and the club are expected to undergo a much-needed rebuild. However, as far as Neville understands, there is added reason to believe Ronaldo will stay amid suggestions that he might pursue a move to compete in the Champions League next season.
Speaking on the latest episode of The Gary Neville Podcast, he said: “They’ve lost four on the bounce, but also won three in 12, 13 — that’s an absolute disgrace. Three in 13? It’s absolutely embarrassing. The players in that dressing room, the cost in that dressing room.
“I’ve not heard anything in terms of ins and outs, but the more I think about it, Ronaldo stays. The worse it gets the more he stays, if you like, to not look like he’s running away. Ten Hag, he’s got a massive job to do, a massive job to do from a Man United point of view.”
Neville added: “I’ve asked this question [what has happened] why has it got so bad from last season. Something has gone fundamentally wrong in the last 12 months, it’s not down to one person. It’s unbelievable the demise, last night [Saturday] sums it up.”
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