Transfer news: Manchester United reveals main reason they ‘left Liverpool to Darwin Nunez’
Three weeks later, Cristiano Ronaldo is reportedly asking for a transfer, and a journalist claims Man United withdrew from the Darwin Nunez race because of their No. 9.
In the wake of Erling Haaland’s transfer to Manchester City, Nunez was a statement signing for Liverpool as they finalized their £85 million agreement with Benfica.
Man United was in the background for both transactions; they were interested in both players but were unable to compete with their seasoned rivals.
That reflects not only their decline from the top of English football and the diminished allure of Old Trafford, but also the club’s persistently subpar financial sense.
Ronaldo was re-signed by United from Juventus in a deal worth up to £19.8 million less than a year ago. United announced the news under the headline “Ronaldo is coming home,” and supporters flocked to buy his No. 7 jersey.
The excitement in Manchester was mocked everywhere else as rival fans became aware that there was no overarching strategy.
In his comeback season, Ronaldo scored 24 goals, but he was unquestionably a key component of the jumbled system implemented by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick, who led United to a sixth-place finish in the Premier League.
With a season in the Europa League still to come, Ronaldo has informed United that if the right offer is made, he intends to leave. According to David Ornstein of The Athletic, Chelsea’s new owners are now considering making a bid for the 37-year-old.
Unbelievably, Laurie Whitwell, a colleague of Ornstein, asserted that United “have been working on belief Cristiano Ronaldo will stay at [the] club for 2022/23, hence leaving Liverpool to Darwin Nunez.”
But if that is to be believed, United was content to have Ronaldo serve as the centerpiece of their assault for another year as Erik ten Hag’s team entered the new season.
Therefore, in order to bet big on a player who will turn 38 in February, they would have essentially declined the chance to sign two strikers leading the charge of the new era of European football – the 23-year-old Nunez and the 21-year-old Haaland.
The assumption that few other teams would be willing to match Manchester United’s outrageous £500,000 weekly salary for Ronaldo plus the fact that Bayern Munich, PSG, and Napoli have already ruled themselves out as prospective suitors may be part of the reason for this.