According to the BBC, Juventus are planning a move to bring Cristiano Ronaldo to Turin this summer.
If this deal taking Ronaldo from Madrid to the Italian champions were to go through, it would of course be a huge deal. The fee being quoted in the report is of £88 million, which is very close to the Transfermarkt valuation of the player, which stands at £90 million.
For a 33-year-old that’s a massive price tag but this obviously isn’t any old 33-year-old we’re talking about here.
Ronaldo is often linked with moves away from the Bernabeu, but this time it feels like it really might happen. If CR7 does end playing his football for the Old Lady this season then plenty of United fans would likely feel pretty aggrieved about missing out on the second coming of their idol.
Not that Manchester United actually should make a move to bring Ronaldo back to Old Trafford.
Just because it would mean an emotional return to his old stomping ground for the Portuguese superstar doesn’t mean that Madrid would accept any less of a transfer fee from the Red Devils. In fact, Florentino Perez may feel he could milk even more out of the Old Trafford cash cow given the sentimental nature of the deal.
The truth is, as much as they might want him, United don’t need Ronaldo back. To spend £90-odd million to do it, as well as the astronomical wages he’d be due, would also be foolhardy and detrimental to the progress the club is trying to make under Mourinho.
Their squad is already stocked with goal threats from wide areas, in the form of Alexis Sanchez, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard. In Romelu Lukaku the club also have a no. 9 who could lead the line for years.
If you buy Ronaldo you have to play Ronaldo, which would further inhibit the development of the likes of Rashford and stand in the way of others getting game time. Alexis Sanchez wasn’t bought to wait in the wings.
As good as Ronaldo still is, he is undeniably on the decline as he can no longer play week in week out. Whilst this means others would still get plenty of game time, they wouldn’t get as much as they were. This also highlights what a waste of money Ronaldo would be.
The return of Cristiano would massively excite fans, and be a bit of a money spinner in terms of commercial revenue (though that wouldn’t come close to recouping even 3 month’s worth of the big man’s wages for the club). It wouldn’t be taking the club forward though, it would be chaining it to it’s own past. Refusing to cut the bind for fear of losing their last link with the glory days.
Ed Woodward needs to look beyond what it would mean to the club and fans to bring the Real Madrid man home and see instead the bigger picture. The one with lovely, lovely trophies in it.