Manchester United: Why Ronaldo Returning Would Be A Risk

CR7 said he's unhappy at Real Madrid, which led to rumours circulating about him wanting to coming back to Manchester. But would Ronaldo returning to Old Trafford be smart for United?
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CR7 said he's unhappy at Real Madrid, which led to rumours circulating about him wanting to coming back to Manchester. But would Ronaldo returning to Old Trafford be smart for United?

With the recent news of Cristiano Ronaldo being unhappy at Real Madrid, there have been unavoidable rumours of him wanting to leave. And, of course, Manchester United fans all over the globe start hoping for him to come back to United. Wishful thinking, it seems to be at first, but who can blame them? Now, I don’t think Ronaldo will leave Madrid for at least a couple of years yet, but let’s just for a second (or however long it may take for you to read this article) suppose the outcome from this whole saga will indeed be that he leaves and returns to Man United.

I would be incredibly thrilled if that were to happen, just like approximately 100% of every other United fan, and the pros are easily found. The cons, however, are not as obvious, but they are out there. But just to make clear before I start giving you my thoughts on this, this is not a: “Why United shouldn’t sign Ronaldo” piece. The idea of this is simply to give some perspective to the unstoppable excitement of it happening. Right, with that done, let’s take a look at the cons.

First of all, a return to Man United for Ronaldo would mean he would not be able to succeed. Sounds strange? Let me explain. You see, it would either “go as expected”, or it’d turn out a failure. Everyone will expect him to bang in at least 20-30 goals a season, probably more. There is no chance for Ronaldo to perform over expectation, as the expectations will be the highest possible. Now, granted, if that happens everyone connected with Manchester United will be delighted, but the point is that there is very little chance for him to go up at United. And this not to mention if he wouldn’t meet up to expectations his status at United would undeniably, and perhaps a bit unfairly, go down.

There are also of course plenty of good, potentially great, players in the world right now who are a lot younger and a lot cheaper.

Secondly, and this is maybe the most obvious con of all, he’d cost a whole lot of money. Even if Ronaldo somehow manages to force his way out of Madrid, he’d still cost at least £40-50 million. And if that wasn’t enough, his wages would also be enormous. Wayne Rooney is currently on about £160k a week, being the highest paid at United, and Ronaldo would without doubt want more. Sure, there is a chance of Ronaldo being willing to accept to not have a salary above £200k a week, but I find that possibility rather low. And even if his salary is “only” at, say, £150k a week, that’s still a lot of money needed to be paid. So in best case scenario United could get him for £40 million and, with bonuses excluded, a salary of £7.8 million a year. Which poses another question: are United (Glazers) ready and willing to pay that kind of money?

Thirdly, there is definitely a case to be made that it would be better for United to just, you know, move on; to try and make new big players, bring new players in, rather than to bring back an “old” one. That it would be better to stop reminiscing about the past and rather look to make “new” history with players already at the club, or with (signing) players who haven’t been at the club before. “Doesn’t this mean it was the wrong choice by Sir Alex to bring Paul Scholes back?”, some might say. The answer to this is no, as that’s not the same; Scholes was only gone for six months and during this time he was still helping out coaching the reserves, and he is of course a lot more of a club legend than Ronaldo is. There are also of course plenty of good, potentially great, players in the world right now who are a lot younger and a lot cheaper. Ronaldo is after all 28 next summer (probably at the soonest United would be able to get him, January transfer very unlikely).

Now, if you have managed to get this far, I’d like to point out again that even though there are cons in bringing Ronaldo back, I still think it would be a fantastic signing, would it happen, for United. And there are a couple of holes in each point I made above, some of you have probably already noticed them. It wasn’t easy to first of all find cons, and secondly make a good point of them. Which also underlines that it would mostly just be a very, very good signing. But, please, just don’t get my hopes up…

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