CR7’s future has been up in the air all summer amid reports claiming he wants a transfer.
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag should have dealt with Cristiano Ronaldo much sooner, according to Liverpool legend Graeme Souness.
The forward’s future remains under the spotlight despite the club’s 2022/23 campaign having already started. He reportedly wants to leave United for a UEFA Champions League team. However, as things stand, no transfer has happened and Ten Hag continues to insist he is not for sale.
Souness approves of the Dutchman’s intent to keep Ronaldo, but feels he should’ve handled this transfer saga before now.
What did Souness say?
“I would have tried to have nipped it in the bud before now. I’d have got in front of him as soon as possible,” the former Liverpool midfielder and manager told talkSPORT.
“We all know how the game works. His people and [Ronaldo’s agent] Jorge Mendes would have been speaking to clubs and asking could they afford him.
“I don’t believe that he’s gone out on a limb and said that he wants to leave without having something going on in the background. It seems that there is still somebody out there for him, but they’re not willing to show their hand.”
Souness added: “From the United view, you try keep him. There’s an argument to say that he’s the greatest player ever to kick a football, his stats and his longevity would suggest that.
“I would keep him. He doesn’t get goals against the big teams, the game passes him by a bit and he plays the width of the box, but he does get goals.
“We all know how important goals are to the cause as you can be not playing very well, but if you’ve got a goal-getter then it makes you look like a very different team. Goals are everything and it’s the hardest job in football. I’d go out of my way to keep him.”
Ronaldo came on as a second-half substitute during United’s 2-1 defeat to Brighton in Sunday’s Premier League opener.
The 37-year-old could next return to action this Saturday when Ten Hag’s side visit Brentford for another league match.