Cristiano Ronaldo appears to have had his transfer wish granted by Manchester United with the plan of incoming boss Erik ten Hag.
United confirmed the appointment of the Dutchman and the boss alongside his agents who landed in London this week ahead of getting his work underway at Old Trafford. Ten Hag will attend his first United match in person as he watches them take on Crystal Palace on the final day of the Premier League season on Monday.
Ten Hag has already discussed the future of Ronaldo, who is about to enter the final year of his Old Trafford contract and it is thought that he will remain at the club until the summer of 2023.
The Portuguese superstar is set to enjoy a prominent role in Ten Hag’s first season as he looks to overhaul the club’s dressing room.
Reports back in March explained that not only had the 37-year-old Ronaldo decided to remain at United but that he had told the club what sort of player they should sign for next season.
As outlined by The Athletic, Ronaldo’s request was for the Red Devils to sign a profile of player which would allow them to make a tactical tweak and get the best out of the superstar.
Ronaldo wants to play alongside another striker next season for United – with Edinson Cavani set to leave the club as a free agent this summer.
That leaves the squad notably light on attacking players, especially with Ronaldo unlikely to continue his stint at Old Trafford beyond 2023. The club are willing to listen to offers for Anthony Martial – who scored zero La Liga goals during a loan stint at La Liga – with Marcus Rashford the only other senior forward on their books.
United were recently handed a double boost on their pursuit of Benfica striker Darwin Nunez, who is thought to be at the top of their shortlist. The Uruguayan international is expected to be one of Europe’s most sought-after forwards over the coming months after a sensational season in the Primeira Liga and Champions League and is high on United’s transfer wishlist.
Nunez bagged an impressive 34 goals in all competitions this season – including in both legs of their European clash against Liverpool at the quarter-final stage, taking his goal tally in the competition to six for the campaign – while he recently handed United a transfer boost by confirming he was changing his agent this summer.
Ten Hag has witnessed Nunez first hand as the striker’s biggest goal came in the Round of 16 win over Ten Hag’s Ajax, before scoring in both legs of the quarter-final against Liverpool – in which Benfica were defeated 6-4 on aggregate.
The striker also notably impacted the group stage victory over Barcelona, where the striker bagged a brace in the 3-0 win over the Catalan side.
Ronaldo believes that a central striker who can hold up the ball, work the channels and stretch defences would allow him to adapt to a wider position from the left and make inwards runs from that channel – a position he adapted in recent years in his career, before reverting to a more central role at Old Trafford this season.