Ralf Rangnick has urged Manchester United to keep Cristiano Ronaldo for another season but has left the decision to the player and Erik ten Hag.
Cristiano Ronaldo lifted the spirits of the Manchester United fans when he decided to return to the club last summer after a brief stint at Juventus. After United finished second in the Premier League in the 2020/21 season, the Portuguese forward’s arrival was considered a vital addition, which could potentially make the Red Devils title contenders.
But things have not gone to plan as Manchester United are resigned to lose out on a UEFA Champions League qualification berth this season after bowing out of the top-four race in recent weeks. Overall, their season has been disastrous and much is expected from new boss Erik ten Hag starting from the summer transfer window.
Interim manager Ralf Rangnick recently insisted that Manchester United will need more than 3-4 players to build a strong squad in the summer. He also asserted that the club would need a new striker following underwhelming performances from current options such as Marcus Rashford, Edinson Cavani and Mason Greenwood, who remains suspended for an off-field issue.
Ronaldo has received widespread criticism during the season, largely revolving around him not being fit for Manchester United’s system or the forward destabilising the squad. But that has not reflected on the Portugal international’s performances. The former Real Madrid superstar notched his 24th goal in all competitions after netting in the win over Brentford on Monday night.
That clash was also Manchester United’s last home game of the season, where Ronaldo was captured saying he is not finished at the club while waving as he approached the players’ tunnel. And Rangnick, from his comments quoted by Daily Mail, has insisted Manchester United should retain the striker for another season.
Rangnick said, “The way we played again tonight, not only because he scored he also won the penalty and helped defensively, why should he not be part of the squad and help the team? But this is a question you have to ask Erik and also Cristiano. Cristiano is not a central striker. He does not want to play in that position but if you look at international football there are not many teams that play with two strikers.”
Rangnick then went on to explain why Manchester United would need two new strikers, suggesting the current options at the club have not performed to expected levels this season.
Rangnick continued, “For me, it is a question of what players Manchester United have in the future. It is obvious United need two more quality strikers. Modern strikers do not necessarily have to be strikers. Liverpool or Manchester City have five or six top-class strikers.”
“If you ask me if Gabriel Jesus or Jack Grealish is a winger or a striker, they can all play there. Mason Greenwood would have been one, then after the West Ham game he was no longer part of the squad. Anthony Martial was on loan and Edinson Cavani injured.”
Manchester United might make wholesale changes to their squad under ten Hag’s guidance. They could bring in several players as part of the rebuild, including a striker or two, to match their ambitions next season.