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Jesse Lingard has said he “would love” Manchester United to re-sign Cristiano Ronaldo.
The former United star only joined Juventus last summer after nine seasons at Real Madrid, but Lingard believes the Portuguese forward could “slot right back in” at Old Trafford.
The Red Devils are in the middle of a bad slump in form that looks set to scupper their chances of finishing the 2018-19 Premier League season in the top four.
Despite United’s impressive upturn in form immediately after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer succeeded Jose Mourinho in December, their recent run of just two wins in 10 has made it clear the squad still needs revitalising this summer:
Simon Stone @sistoney67
United not lost eight in 10 since 1961. That run included three goal home defeats by Bolton and Burnley.
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Full time 1-1
Two wins in 10 for United.
Seriously doubt they’ll get top four – and nor do they deserve it
According to Jacob Murtagh in the Mirror, “Solskjaer is plotting a £250 million makeover” at the end of the season, and several current players, including Antonio Valencia, will be moved on.
A major signing or two seems inevitable from United, and Lingard, who was part of United’s youth setup when Ronaldo was at the club, has talked up the return of the 34-year-old, per Murtagh:
“I would love [Manchester United] to sign [Cristiano] Ronaldo. He has been one of the best players in the world over the last decade. He has been here before so he would slot right back in. Growing up he was just unbelievable to watch in a United shirt, so on a personal note, it would be amazing to play with him.”
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It seems unlikely Ronaldo would opt to return to Old Trafford given their current struggles, especially if they do not manage to qualify for next season’s UEFA Champions League.
Equally, Juve would surely not sell him this summer no matter the fee as they only signed him last year for £99.2 million.
There were reports after Juve’s quarter-final Champions League exit to Ajax that the five-time Ballon d’Or winner may leave Turin, but he subsequently clarified he would “1,000 percent” be at the club next season, per ESPN FC.
Ronaldo will turn 35 midway through next season, and although he remains one of the best players in the world, it would be no surprise if Juventus ended up being his last major European club.
The Sporting Lisbon academy graduate penned a contract to 2022 when he moved to the Old Lady, and it seems much more likely he will honour that deal than return to Old Trafford.