Cristiano Ronaldo appears to be angling for a move away from Manchester United.
Multiple reports from high-level sources such as Duncan Castles, David Ornstein and Simon Stones claim that the five-time Ballon d’Or winner wants to leave the club just one season into his fairytale return.
The moral of the story seems to be that Ronaldo doesn’t want to waste a season playing in the Europa League with the clock ticking on his chances of winning major team and individual honours at 37 years old.
Ronaldo/Man Utd reports
The news has come as a shock to many United fans with previous reports and suspicions seeming to indicate that the Portuguese superstar featured prominently in Erik ten Hag’s plans with one year left on his contract.
However, it now seems as though the Red Devils will need to pull their finger out if they want to ensure that one of the most high-profile reunions in football history isn’t over as quickly as it first came about.
But either way, the mere possibility that Ronaldo could be upping sticks after just one season back in England is enough to get people chatting about whether or not the collaboration was worth it in the first place.
Carragher and Neville go back and forth on Twitter
And one high-profile figure that has always unabashedly claimed that United re-signing Ronaldo wasn’t the right move for the club is Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher.
The Sky Sports pundit has the upmost respect for Ronaldo and always knew that he would score goals back in the Premier League, but thought, as did many, that it wasn’t the most beneficial addition for United as a team.
As such, when the news broke that Ronaldo reportedly wanted a United exit on Saturday afternoon, it should come as absolutely no surprise that Carragher had something to say about the matter on Twitter.
The 44-year-old first reacted to the news by tweeting: “#Ronaldo did exactly what I thought he would do, score goals but make the team worse. The transfer request also kills the idea he turned down Man City because of his love for Man United.”
He then followed it up by writing: “Also, why now? Has ETH told him he is not part of his plans or will play a limited role?? Surely the end of last season was the right time to tell the club #Ronaldo.”
And that’s when Carragher’s former United rival and Sky colleague Gary Neville waded into the conversation, expectedly offering the counterargument that Ronaldo’s love for the Red Devils is very much real.
The former Valencia manager tweeted back: “I get it, you’re full of yourselves but he can turn down City for United because he likes them more and still want to leave this summer. He left before but still loved the club. Enjoy Saturday night and your short period of success.”
However, Carragher had an answer ready and waiting, firing back: “City didn’t want him you [clown emoji] and you’re the same fella who kept saying it was like Elvis had arrived in Manchester! Elvis has left the building.”
And while the back and forth between the two former pros then devolved into Elvis Presley puns, the original gist of their argument surrounding the whole Ronaldo situation is an interesting one.
A complex situation
After all, with hindsight, one can’t help thinking that Ronaldo dropped the ball with his decision to move to United last season if consistent Champions League football and major trophies were his priority at this stage in his career.
Lest we forget that United have gone half a decade without lifting silverware and have struggled to string together top-four finishes in the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era.
Nevertheless, there is reason to believe that both Neville and Carragher are right in their own ways.
It is absolutely feasible that Ronaldo could have picked United over City for personal reasons only to want to leave the following summer just in the way it’s plausible that him leaving the club will actually benefit the Erik ten Hag era.
There’s no right or wrong answers and it’s easy to get into a Neville vs Carragher-esque debate very quickly on this matter, but the one thing that’s indisputable is that it’s absolutely fascinating to watch unfold.