Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was the man who brought Cristiano Ronaldo back to Manchester United 12 months ago. Having previously looked set to join Manchester City, the Portugal international ended up heading back to Old Trafford instead. However, at a time where the 37-year-old is now looking to leave, it’s worth noting that the Norwegian regrets that decision.
Back in August, it looked as though Ronaldo was going to do the unthinkable.
Manchester City were keen on the Portugal international, who was ready to leave Juventus, having missed out on landing Tottenham striker Harry Kane.
In the end, however, United managed to land Ronaldo thanks to some helping hands from the likes of Bruno Fernandes, Patrice Evra, Sir Alex Ferguson and Rio Ferdinand.
It seemed a major statement. Having finished second in the Premier League table the previous year, Ronaldo’s return was seen as the ticket to title glory.
Solskjaer hailed the deal at the time, saying: “Now hopefully Cristiano can come in and show what he’s done in his career.
“He’s a more experienced player than when he was here last time.
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At the time, United had a front three consisting of Mason Greenwood, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho.
They also had Anthony Martial, too, who had been their top scorer in the 2019/2020 season with 23 goals across all competitions.
And Solskjaer believes the return of Ronaldo was his undoing, despite the veteran saving his former team-mate for a while with some crucial goals.
Now, it’ll be intriguing to see what United decide to do.
They’ve not been preparing for the Portugal international to go, especially given how he’s under contract with the club until 2023.
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But Ronaldo doesn’t want to hang around to play for a team who will be playing in the Europa League next term.
Chelsea are in the mix for his signing, especially after Blues owner Todd Boehly recently held talks with the forward’s agent, Jorge Mendes.
And Bayern Munich are also in the hunt, too, at a time where Robert Lewandowski looks primed to depart.
Regarding Ronaldo, the Portugal international did insist just weeks ago that he was looking forward to playing under Erik ten Hag at Old Trafford.
“I know that he has done a fantastic job at Ajax, and that he is an experienced coach,” he said.
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“But we have to give him time.
“Things must change the way he wants. If he does well, all of Manchester United will be successful, so I wish him well.
“We are all happy and excited, not only as players, but as fans as well.
“We have to believe that next year we can win titles.”
Ronaldo previously left United back in the summer transfer window of 2009, moving to Real Madrid for a world-record fee of £80million.