Many critics believe struggling Manchester United would be a better team without Cristiano Ronaldo… and one Premier League manager has offered him a new home.
Wolves manager Bruno Lage has told Cristiano Ronaldo he can play under him… if he ever wants to leave Manchester United.
The Portuguese boss is plotting to stop his compatriot ahead of his team’s trip to Old Trafford on Monday evening.
Many have questioned Ronaldo’s role at United since he re-joined the Manchester club from Juventus in August.
The 37-year-old has scored 14 goals in 20 games this season but the Red Devils have struggled, sitting sixth in the Premier League.
Despite United’s worrying position, Lage believes every club in the world would love to have Ronaldo in their ranks.
“He’s a machine,” said the Wolves manager. “He just wants to score and score and score. He lives for that. He’s a massive player and every team in the world would want him.
“It’s football and everyone has an opinion. But if United aren’t happy with him then I have a place for him here, but I know they are happy with him.
“He started playing at the top level very young and he’s just continued at the same level.”
Ronaldo is very unlikely to leave United in January, although fellow forward Antony Martial might.
The club have accepted his transfer request but will only allow him to move if the deal suits them, rejecting a loan offer from Sevilla.
“He explained to me he’s been at Man Utd now for the last seven years and he feels it’s the right time for a change, to go somewhere else,” revealed interim manager Ralf Rangnick.
“I think in a way this is understandable, I could follow his thoughts, but on the other hand, it’s also important to see the situation of the club.
“We have Covid times, we have three competitions in which we still have high ambitions and we want to be as successful as we can be.
“I told him ‘listen, as long as there is no club showing interest in him [he will stay]’ and it should not only be in the interest of the player it should also be in the interest of the club.”
Wolves, meanwhile, are currently eighth in the Premier League and can go three points behind United with a win, although they haven’t won at Old Trafford since February 1980.
And, like many clubs, Lage’s side have been hit by a Covid outbreak. Their game against Arsenal on Tuesday was called off and their training ground was closed.
“We have two more days to try and establish which players are fit and ready to play,” said Lage when quizzed on who is available.
“There are things you just can’t control. We don’t have too may cases but we have a small squad. If you have four or five players missing we don’t have enough players to play.
“The next few days are important to see if players have had time to recover and if they are fit to play.”