Man Utd: Solskjaer admits to 'baby steps' in title push
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Manchester United are, not for the first time, being linked with Cristiano Ronaldo again. The Portugal international left Old Trafford for Real Madrid back in the summer transfer window of 2009 after six glorious years in England. And Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would, it seems, be open to a reunion with his old team-mate.
Ronaldo quit United for Real Madrid 12 years ago to fulfil a childhood dream.
The Portugal international had long dreamed of turning out for the La Liga titans and, having previously been denied a move away the previous year, decided to make the leap.
However, United and Ronaldo’s names have remain intertwined in the years since.
The 36-year-old has been linked with a move back to Old Trafford just about every year since he departed, regardless of how he or his club are doing at the time.
And links have again arisen.
Reports in Italy have claimed Ronaldo could return to United this summer, with the player ready to leave Juventus should they fail to qualify for the Champions League.
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And it was claimed by El Grafico earlier in the campaign that Solskjaer, the veteran’s old team-mate, would be happy to have him back.
The Norwegian previously played alongside Ronaldo under Sir Alex Ferguson, with the duo spending four years together prior to the 48-year-old’s retirement.
And Solskjaer has regularly hailed the feared in the years since.
The United manager said earlier in the year he’d love to have Ronaldo at his disposal when naming his six-a-side team.
“Don’t forget I played with Cristiano and he’s the best player in the world — so I wouldn’t mind having him in my team too,” he said.
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Solskjaer also revealed he’d asked Ronaldo for the lowdown on Bruno Fernandes prior to signing the 26-year-old back in the January transfer window.
“We’ve got the chief scouts who do all the scouting, we’ve got the analysts who analyse and break everything down to a minutest detail. But you can see that with your eye really what talent and quality you’ve got,” Solskjaer told the High Performance Podcast.
“Then you speak to teammates, who maybe play with them in the national team.
“So obviously Cristiano was an easy goal for me.
“I managed to get through Patrice Evra, I managed to get hold of Cristiano and his recommendation obviously stands him [Fernandes] in good stead.”
Solskjaer has also previously stated that Ronaldo is one of the best players he was able to share a pitch with during his playing days.
“Having played with him, I could always see the desire in Cristiano from his early days,” said the Norwegian.
“We would need to guide him once in a while but he always wanted to be the best in the world and would never let anyone come between him and his goal.
“That says a lot about his tough mentality.
“It’s probably the environment in which he has grown that has made him so hungry for success. He is the best I have played with.”
And it seems as though there’s a genuine chance of United bringing Ronaldo back.
Express Sport was told earlier in the year that the Red Devils weren’t interested and instead would prefer to focus on younger targets.
But if Erling Haaland or Harry Kane prove elusive, you just never know.
Few expected Tottenham would secure the signing of Gareth Bale a year ago.
And United could be about to repeat a similar trick come the end of the season.
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