Manchester United appear to have moved on from the Cristiano Ronaldo drama, after the Portuguese slammed the club in his interview with Piers Morgan. Coach Erik ten Hag, as well as the club’s owners, the Glazers family, were also not listened to by Ronaldo, accusing them of “betraying” and “disrespecting” him. There was no going back from there as both sides knew what the next step was. And even before Ronaldo kicked a ball at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, he was a free agent after terminating his contract with the Red Devils.
Meanwhile, Ten Hag is wasting no time, and has already asked the club to bring in a new striker in the January transfer window. United had also anticipated the situation and have already selected some names. In addition, an additional £20-30 million has been injected into the club’s budget, thanks to Ronaldo not asking for his payment while agreeing to mutually terminate the contract. United plan to use the extra cash wisely as they look to bring in more signings to help Ten Hag.
Manchester United plan to use Ronaldo’s money wisely. Credits: Twitter
Manchester United prioritizes one more signing next to a striker
While it is almost impossible to replace a player of Ronaldo’s caliber at Old Trafford, Manchester United have identified a striker who will not disappoint either. According to Spanish outlet Nacional, the Red Devils are planning a bold move to lure Real Madrid star Karim Benzema to Old Trafford next summer. Benzema has been at full throttle despite being 34 years old, and shows no signs of slowing down.
He almost single-handedly led Los Blancos to their 14th Champions League title last season, scoring an astonishing 15 goals in 12 games, including famous hat-tricks against PSG and Chelsea in the knockout stages. A further 27 goals in 34 League games from the forward crowned Real champions of Spain. He also emulated the same form with France, scoring a scintillating 10 goals since EURO2020 last year, and also guided them to a Nations League triumph.
There was no guessing as Benzema lifted the Ballon d’Or, to become only the third player in the era of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to win the prestigious award. However, a hip injury last month ended his dream of playing at the World Cup as he is still recovering from the knock. With his contract expiring next summer, Nacional understand the 34-year-old is ready to pursue a new challenge, with Manchester United coming into the picture. The Red Devils plan to lure him in with an “insane salary”, which they spared Ronaldo, and are ready to build a team around him.
Karim Benzema, who could be a free agent next summer, is wanted by Manchester United to lead their attack. Credits: Twitter
Although he is 34 years old, Los Blancos president Florentino Perez himself had stated that Benzema still has at least two more years in charge and that he would like the forward to move on from the Santiago Bernabeu. However, Benzema could have other plans as he is said to be unfazed by trying a new challenge elsewhere. In addition, Manchester United want to put together a possible deal for Benzema, with Napoli center back Kim Min-jae.
Ten Hag are also looking to strengthen their defence, despite having the likes of Raphael Varane, Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and £57m arrival Lisandro Martinez at their disposal. Min-jae has been one of the most highly rated defenders this season, having put in some good performances for the Italian side. He has been instrumental in Napoli’s top of the Serie A table and also in their five wins from six, including against Liverpool, in the Champions League this season.
Although the South Korean’s current deal with Napoli runs until the summer of 2025, it won’t be easy for Manchester United to bring him to Old Trafford. Firstly, the 26-year-old, at his best, would demand regular game time, which he is getting at Napoli, and has little chance of enjoying the same at United. However, according to Fichajes, United are willing to pay a fee of around £47m in a bid to lure Napoli into selling the player, who only arrived in Italy last summer.
Source: Erik ten Hag Braces Himself For New Signings As Manchester United Set To Splash The Ronaldo Money On Two Blockbuster Deals