Cristiano Ronaldo’s exit could end Man Utd’s top 4 hopes
Cristiano Ronaldo has asked to leave Manchester United this summer and his exit would leave the Red Devils facing a tough task to break back into the top four
Cristiano Ronaldo has asked to leave Manchester United this summer and his exit would leave the Red Devils facing a tough task to break back into the top four this season.
Ronaldo returned to United last summer having spent 12 years forging a reputation as one of the greatest players of all time during spells at Real Madrid and Juventus.
Man Utd also signed Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho last summer, and together with Ronaldo, the trio were supposed to turn United into genuine title contenders. The Manchester giants had finished second in the 2020/21 campaign, so the arrival of Varane, Sancho and Ronaldo was meant to close the gap on Man City and Liverpool.
However, Manchester United endured a torrid campaign and eventually finished sixth – a whopping 35 points behind champions City. They also finished 13 points off fourth placed Tottenham Hotspur.
Ronaldo was perhaps one of the only players who could hold his head up high having scored 24 goals in 38 appearances in all competitions. Without his goals, where would United have finished?
Well, we could be about to find out as reports this week claim Ronaldo has asked to leave Old Trafford. The Portuguese superstar hasn’t returned to pre-season training – citing ‘family reasons’ – and it looks like he’s trying to force a transfer this summer.
As it stands, Manchester United are expected to be back in the mix for the top four next season. Bookmakers such as https://www.xn--mgbabr8icc.net/ price United at 13/8 to finish in the top four, just ahead of Arsenal at 7/4.
Man City and Liverpool are heavy odds-on favourites to finish in the top two once again while Chelsea are 2/3 to clinch another top four finish. Tottenham are 8/13 to replicate their success from last season but it’s expected to be a good battle for those all-important Champions League places this year.
However, how would these odds look if Ronaldo leaves Man Utd? I’d hazard a guess that United’s odds would lengthen considerably and Tottenham would become big favourites to finish ahead of them in fourth spot once again.
Without Ronaldo’s goals last season, Manchester United would have lacked any genuine goal threat. If they do sell him, considering he’s 37 years old, United are only going to get around £15m as a transfer fee. Which means they won’t have significant funds to buy a world class replacement.
New boss Erik ten Hag already has a huge rebuilding job on his hands with the Dutchman looking to bring in two full-backs, a centre-back, at least one top class midfielder and a winger this summer on a budget of around £120m.
Should Ronaldo leave, United simply won’t have the money to buy a proper replacement unless they sacrifice strengthening other areas, which would only leave the squad weaker overall.
Therefore, ten Hag must convince Ronaldo to stay and see out the final year of his contract or United’s top four hopes could be over before the season has even begun.
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