Manchester United’s interim manager Ralf Rangnick has major reservations over Cristiano Ronaldo playing up front next season, Manchester Evening News reports.
The Portugal star made a stunning comeback after 12 seasons away over the summer. He had an impressive first half of the campaign with 14 goals from 20 outings.
However, his form has been poor since the beginning of the year. The 37-year-old has netted just once in 10 appearances while being regularly caught offside.
It is now reported that Rangnick has doubts over Ronaldo’s ability to lead the attack next season. The German’s patience is wearing thin amid the striker’s form.
Rangnick has already discussed the need to pursue a younger centre-forward in the summer. He could have a key role to play in a consultancy position.
Ronaldo recently experienced a six-game goal drought across all competitions, which was his worst for any club since the 2008/09 season.
This should not be surprising, considering the Portuguese is no longer in his prime. He is bound to be inconsistent in the current phase of his career.
Ronaldo has still bagged an impressive tally of 15 goals since his homecoming, and could yet come good during the back end of the campaign.
Regardless of what happens, it appears a genuine possibility that the club could pursue a marquee striker to lead their attack next season.
Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane has re-emerged on the club’s radar, and there could be more strikers linked ahead of the next transfer window.
United may want the new signing to form a deadly strike partnership with Ronaldo, who played in a 4-4-2 set-up at Juventus.
Rangnick has tried to experiment with the system, but it has not worked out with Edinson Cavani often on the sidelines with injuries.
Meanwhile, Marcus Rashford has looked short of confidence while Rangnick has preferred to stick with Anthony Elanga out wide.
It could be a busy summer ahead for the Red Devils. Ronaldo, who is valued at £31.5 million (Transfermarkt), may not even be at the club next term if they fail to qualify for the Champions League.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com.
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