Ronaldo 'happy to be back home' at Man Utd
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Cristiano Ronaldo was officially announced by Manchester United on Deadline Day, and the Portuguese star has already flown to Manchester to join up with the staff at Old Trafford, but Arsene Wenger isn’t sold on the deal.
Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has expressed concerns over Cristiano Ronaldo’s sensational return to Manchester United after 12 years away from the club.
Ronaldo joined United from Juventus on Deadline Day, as they paid £25million for his services, with the Old Lady saving on another €31m (£25.5m) in salary for the 36-year-old.
The Portuguese star had entered the final year of his Juventus contract, and the Italian side appeared keen to cash in on the player that had cost them €100m (£88m) in 2018, and Ronaldo finally returned to the place he calls home, despite almost joining former rivals Manchester City.
Ronaldo will be a welcome addition to the Premier League, but Wenger questions the motives behind his move back to Old Trafford.
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Wenger managed Arsenal for 22 years and is as experienced as anyone to comment on Premier League activity, but the Frenchman believes the move isn’t necessarily for performance reasons.
The former Gunners boss said: “It’s more than just sporting reasons, it’s also emotional.
“I think the decision is not 100 per cent rational. Finding a balance in the team is a big challenge. People with a lot of experience still score a lot. I believe that Sir Alex played a big role.”
Ronaldo was extremely close to joining Wenger at Arsenal, but United swooped in at the last minute to capture the Portuguese star, which turned out to be an amazing piece of business and Arsenal were made to pay for the years that followed.
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Wenger opened up on this missed opportunity, as he said: “He was supposed to go to Arsenal at the time and he [Sir Alex Ferguson] took him away from me. Today he did that with City.
“Ronaldo was at our training ground and had an Arsenal shirt, but at that time Carlos Queiroz was Sir Alex’s assistant and convinced him to buy 18-year-old Ronaldo.
“We could only pay £4million back then, Manchester United paid £12m.”
Although United certainly has emotional links to Ronaldo, the 36-year-old still has a lot to offer, and his experience and professionalism behind the scenes will be a valuable asset to have around the dressing room.
Ronaldo will be the perfect mentor for younger players coming through, and alongside Portuguese teammate Bruno Fernandes, will be able to regiment their winning mentality deep within the squad. The five-time Ballon D’or winner will also be looking to boost his already impressive accolades, and will be full of confidence having just become the mens all-time top international goal scorer.
The stage is set for Ronaldo to make his homecoming for United, as they host Newcastle at Old Trafford on September 11 in front of his former adoring fans.
We will get a look at whether Ronaldo will continue to be the real deal in the Premier League, or whether Wenger’s reservations were justified.
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