Louis Van Gaal has confirmed it once and for all: Manchester United want to sign Cristiano Ronaldo.
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Speaking to reporters following United’s last-gasp 2-1 win at Watford on Saturday which , the Dutch manager was asked about the possibility of signing Ronaldo.
Here’s what he had to say about the widespread rumors linking Ronaldo with an exit from Real Madrid.
“He plays on the wings and he is fast and scores goals. I don’t think there is a trainer in the world that doesn’t like him. Of course we would look,” van Gaal said. “We are looking at all the players, not only Ronaldo, but these players are mostly not to get. With Ronaldo, let’s wait and hope.”
Van Gaal’s answer was a little vague to start with, but not exactly shutting down the speculation, huh?
Given that Ronaldo has won every major trophy possible with Real, the way his sulked through most of El Clasico on Saturday as Real were hammered 4-0 by Barcelona in Rafael Benitez’s first, disastrous, taste of the bitter rivalry and the fact that Ronaldo has always remained a huge fan of United, it seems like they would have a chance if they went for him this summer.
[ VIDEO: Barca thrash Real in El Clasico ]
That said, the transfer fee would be astronomical with his current release clause set at just over $1 billion but you would expect Real to work around that and at least try and gain back the then world-record fee of $120 million they paid United for Ronaldo in 2009. Given the fact that he will be 31 in February, would it represent good value for money for the Red Devils?
It’s a decent question to ask but this is the three-time World Player of the Year we are talking about, and a man who just became Real’s all-time leading scorer — he currently has 326 goals in 316 appearances — and he has one of the most recognizable names and brands in global sports. If United dropped well over $120 million on Ronaldo and paid his astronomical wages for three or four years, they’d probably still make out like kings on the deal.
During his time at United he won the UEFA Champions League, three Premier League titles and scored 118 goals in 292 games for the Red Devils in six seasons. He has improved since, and continues too, plus his special connection with the club has remained, meaning there could well be a willingness among all parties for Ronaldo to go full circle and end his career with the club where he made his name.
To cap all of this off, van Gaal seems like the perfect man to manage Ronaldo’s huge ego. United are challenging at the top of the PL again and signing Ronaldo is a surefire way to get back among Europe’s elite.