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The Ronaldo debate: Rangnick supports stay at United

Manchester United interim coach Ralf Rangnick sees no reason why Cristiano Ronaldo shouldn’t stay and help Erik Ten Hag’s team when he takes over.

Jennifer Bubel

In Cristiano Ronaldo’s star role in Manchester United’s victory over Brentford on Monday night, it seemed like he was perhaps giving a sign that he plans to stay with the team another season.

After scoring his second-half penalty shot, Ronaldo pointed to himself and then down at the turf in Old Trafford. Could this be a message to everyone that he doesn’t plan on going anywhere?

And then there was this after the game...

It sounds very much like he’s saying “I’m not finished”.

Despite helping United stay afloat with 24 goals in 38 appearances across all competitions this year, many are doubting whether the Portuguese star will stay once the club starts its massive rebuild under new manager Erik Ten Hag. Ronaldo’s two-year contract is not set to expire until June 2023, but the rebuild is expected to be drastic, so nothing is certain.

Interim manager Ralf Rangnick said he could not see any reason why Ronaldo should go, despite repeated claims that the club needs to sign two new strikers this summer.

“The way that he played again tonight, not only because he scored a goal, he also won the penalty,” said Rangnick. “He also helped defensively tonight. So why should he not be a player that could still be a part of the squad and help the team?”

Ten Hag is set to take over as head coach at the end of the season and should play a big role in the upcoming changes. Though new strikers are in the works, Rangnick still sees Ronaldo as playing a vital role on the team.

It’s obvious that the club needs, I would say, at least two new strikers, who just give this team more quality and more options, and more what I would even call ‘weapons’,” said Rangnick.

He insisted though, that the question of Ronaldo’s future not for him to answer.

You’ll have to ask Erik once he’s here,” he said. “Obviously it’s also important how Cristiano himself sees his role and his position. Cristiano is not a central striker. He also does not want to play in that position.”

“For me, it’s not a question of position - it’s also a question of what kind of quality players Manchester United will have in the future.”


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