The Red Devils signed Romelu Lukaku due to reports that Ronaldo wanted to return to Manchester.
The news might come as a shock to many, but United feared that the Portuguese wanted a reunion with his previous club. Jose Mourinho reportedly didn’t want Ronaldo back in Manchester, so they swooped Lukaku instead. Ronaldo wanted to return to the Old Trafford last summer, amidst claims of a tax fraud case.
Reports suggest that he was so upset at that time, that he plotted to turn his back on Madrid. The Red Devils, however, had other plans as they hijacked Chelsea’s move for Romelu Lukaku in the eleventh hour. As a consequence of that, Ronaldo’s teammate Alvaro Morata signed with the Blues and the 33-year-old later opted to stay put.
What’s the Story?
According to Manchester Evening News report, United feared that Ronaldo might force a move away from Madrid. The Red Devils have been linked to a return for their prodigal son, who gave them a chance for a reunion, only for Mourinho to choose otherwise. The Portuguese duo has a soured relationship from their time at Real Madrid. Hence, a move for Lukaku made more sense for ‘the Special One’.
The MEN suggest that United feared they might miss out on other major transfer target courtesy of Ronaldo’s deal. Thereby, they opted to ditch the Madrid talisman in favor of the Belgian. Even though he has endured a dip in form of late, Lukaku has 19 goals to his name across all competitions.
That is an impressive tally considering that Ronaldo is only two goals behind him. Aged 33, he is clearly past his peak, therefore United’s decision to chose Lukaku instead is paying dividends. And Mourinho has poured cold water over any approach for Ronaldo next summer. The 55-year-old coach affirmed that United will not be signing any attacking player after they successfully landed Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal last month.
“I think in attack it’s difficult for us to improve. Where are we going to get a better combination of players than we have? We cannot buy Messi and Cristiano. These are the best players of the last decade. In attack, we have an amazing group of players” Mourinho said.
According to reports in Spain, Ronaldo is currently in line to sign a bumper new contract with Los Blancos. His salary will reportedly rocket from €21m a year to €30m. Those figures will take him close to what Neymar is earning at PSG, while both of them are still behind Lionel Messi, who recently signed a contract extension as well.
If the reports are correct then surely United have done shrewd business. As evident this season, Ronaldo’s attacking prowess in on the decline, and The Red Devils took the correct step by signing Lukaku. A proven goal scorer in the Premier League, Lukaku has already shown his immense talent at the Old Trafford. Unlike Ronaldo however, he will only get better with time.
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