Ole Gunnar Solskjaer privately rates Cristiano Ronaldo as the best player he ever played alongside and would support the prospect of bringing him back to Manchester United in the upcoming summer transfer window, it has been claimed. A return to Old Trafford has been mooted with the striker’s future at Juventus uncertain.
Despite ending as Serie A’s top goalscorer for the 2020-21 season with 29 goals, the 36-year-old’s time in Turin could come to an end after three years.
While Juve managed to qualify for the Champions League on the final day of the campaign, they are under pressure to alleviate financial difficulties and offloading the Portuguese would see them do that.
It is claimed his gross salary and the amortisation of his contract costs the Italians around £68million (€80m) every year.
And despite his on-pitch performances, that could facilitate an exit with United one of the very few clubs in world football who could finance a package to land the striker.
Although Ronaldo turns 37 next season, The Athletic say Solskjaer would entertain bringing Ronaldo back to Old Trafford 11 years on from his move to Real Madrid.
The veteran Portugal captain won the first of his five Ballons d’Or with United having spent six seasons with the Red Devils.
During his time in Manchester, in which he elevated himself to one of the game’s very best, Ronaldo won nine trophies including three Premier League titles and contributed 118 goals and 69 assists in 292 games.
The decade since then he has also gone one to become Real Madrid’s all time record goalscorer (450 goals and 132 assists in 438 games) and the fastest Juve player ever to 100 goals, doing so in his 131st game for the Old Lady.
Ronaldo has still got it at the top level and Solskjaer has had similar reward from bringing in Edinson Cavani on a free transfer last summer.
The 34-year-old Uruguayan centre-forward scored 17 goals in his debut season at United including scoring in the Europa League final defeat to Villarreal last week.
His experience and nous through the middle has been a huge help on the pitch while on the training ground he is credited with helping to guide the likes of Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford.
“He just said good things about United. He said he started living his dream here and he started being a really good player here. I think he is happy with my transfer.”
And Ronaldo and Fernandes could even link up for the first time at club level should the former opt to return to United.
It is unclear how much Juve would want for him but his wages would make him by far the highest-paid player at the club, dwarfing David de Gea’s current pay.
United meanwhile have already made their first signing of the window by bringing Tom Heaton, who came through the club’s academy, in as a new back-up goalkeeper on a free from Aston Villa.
That is with it expected that one of either De Gea or Dean Henderson will be moved on over the next few months.