football

Cristiano Ronaldo could walk away from Man Utd ‘shambles’ predicts Paul Merson


Cristiano Ronaldo scored again in Manchester United’s 2-0 win over Villarreal in midweek (Picture: Getty)

Paul Merson fears Cristiano Ronaldo’s return to Manchester United could be a short-lived one amid the club’s ‘shambolic’ pursuit of a new permanent manager.

The 36-year-old rejoined his former club in the summer amid a blaze of triumphalism and almost unprecedented fanfare after it appeared he was on the verge of signing for Manchester City.

Ronaldo has maintained his astonishing goalscoring standards, despite the struggles of a team which parted company with its now former manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after last weekend’s 4-1 defeat at Watford.

Cristiano Ronaldo has now scored 15 goals for club and country this week (Picture: Getty)

Michael Carrick has been placed in temporary charge ahead of the imminent arrival of Ralf Rangnick, who will take over until the end of the season, before United press ahead with attempts to secure the services of either Mauricio Pochettino or Erick ten Hag.

And while Ronaldo appears to be ill-suited to the pressing style of the incoming interim boss, Merson believes the five-times Ballon d’Or winner would be as concerned by a club of United’s stature seeking a temporary solution to their managerial state of flux.

He told the Daily Star: ‘Manchester United needing an interim manager is a shambles – and Cristiano Ronaldo might decide to walk away in the summer.

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‘He won’t be hanging around if they don’t finish in the top four because he will want to end his career in the Champions League.

‘And that doesn’t look terribly likely right now because United are a mess and will probably get thrashed by Chelsea this weekend.

‘It might actually suit all parties if he leaves anyway because if they appoint Mauricio Pochettino and he wants to press from the front, you’re not doing that with Ronaldo.

‘But what I really don’t get is why the biggest club in the world needs an interim manager. It’s like they are writing this season off – like you’re admitting no-one good enough to be considered long term will take the job. That says it all.

‘This is Manchester United. That should not be happening. This job should be one of the most wanted jobs in football.

‘I find it extraordinary that a club like this should need an interim manager. For a massive club like this, it’s so off the cuff. They need to be appointing a permanent manager now.’


MORE : Manchester United to give Ralf Rangnick a say over who succeeds him as permanent manager


MORE : Michael Owen’s Premier League predictions including Chelsea vs. Manchester United and Manchester City vs. West Ham

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