Ronaldo’s Man Utd future depends on managerial appointment

Cristiano Ronaldo is reportedly considering his future at Old Trafford, despite only joining Manchester United at the end of August. The Star reveal that the Portugal international could leave the Premier League club once again this summer if he is unhappy with the club’s appointment of their next permanent manager. Ronaldo is said to be disappointed with United’s form this season and an underwhelming managerial appointment could lead to a swift exit at the end of the season. Mauricio Pochettino, Erik ten Hag and Brendan Rodgers have all been linked with the Manchester United job.
Premier League
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Paper Round’s view: Ronaldo must have thought that he would return to Old Trafford with a hero’s welcome and lead the Red Devils back to the glory days of old. Turns out he only got the hero’s welcome. United look way off the pace in the Premier League title race, despite adding Ronaldo, Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho to their squad last summer. Their only chance of silverware this season will come in the Champions League or the FA Cup, but it’s unlikely they will prove good enough to become European champions. The next managerial appointment now has added pressure. Good luck to new chief executive officer Richard Arnold.
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Pogba offered record-breaking contract at Old Trafford

Manchester United are desperate to keep hold of Paul Pogba, whose current contract at Old Trafford is set to expire at the end of the season. The World Cup winner is already able to enter negotiations with foreign clubs and has attracted interest from Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid and his former club Juventus. However, the Sun state that United have tabled a contract extension worth a whopping £500,000 per week, which would make Pogba the highest-paid player in Premier League history. The 28-year-old is still undecided on whether he will stay in Manchester or take on a new challenge.
Paper Round’s view: This is a huge amount of money to pay to someone who is not even in the top three most important players in the Manchester United squad. Obviously it would be a nightmare to let Pogba leave for free in the summer… especially because he already left Old Trafford for free back in 2012. However, the solution shouldn’t be to throw a record-breaking contract on the table just to keep him. United need to formulate a clear plan if they want to build their future plans around Pogba. Identify a new long-term coach and find out whether they want to make the Frenchman a key component of their squad before tying him down to a ridiculous contract.
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Newcastle keen to add attackers in January

Newcastle United are planning to add some attacking depth to their squad in the winter transfer window. The Telegraph reveal that four players are on the Magpies’ radar in January: Liverpool’s Divock Origi, Bournemouth’s Dominic Solanke, Arsenal’s Eddie Nketiah and Norwich City’s Todd Cantwell. Starting striker Callum Wilson has been sidelined with a calf injury for at least six weeks, meaning a centre-forward has now become a priority signing. Newcastle have already enquired about Nketiah but are trying to find the “right deal”. Origi would be available for £7 million, while Bournemouth are not interested in selling in January.
Paper Round’s view: Newcastle are close to making Kieran Trippier the club’s first signing of its new era, but a lot more work needs to be done in the January transfer window. The Tyneside club have won just once in their first 19 top-flight matches this campaign and they are embroiled in a fierce relegation battle. Newcastle obviously have the financial advantage over their rivals, but they still need to be smart in the transfer market. Nketiah and Origi represent cut-price options who would add an attacking threat. Signing both of them in January - if they can pull off the deals - wouldn’t be the worst idea.
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Why Man Utd opted against Conte appointment

The Telegraph reveal that Manchester United considered appointing Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte before sacking Ole Gunnar Solskjaer earlier this season. The Italian was unemployed at the time after leading Inter Milan to Serie A glory in the 2020-21 campaign. However, United passed up the opportunity to appoint Conte due to concerns that his demanding style would be detrimental to their young squad. The Manchester club’s board had doubts whether the squad would be able to deal with Conte’s “micro-management and intense demands”, which led to Ralf Rangnick being appointed on an interim basis.
Paper Round’s view: This says more about the Manchester United board and the squad than Conte. This is a coach who has won multiple Serie A titles at multiple clubs, as well as a Premier League title and an FA Cup. He is constantly referred to as a ‘serial winner’, but the United board believe he would have been too intense for their squad. Does that mean they would not have appointed Sir Alex Ferguson if he was in his prime? It’s just a cop out and it probably means that the United squad simply lacks real leadership and proper accountability. Conte was the best manager available and United failed to hire him.
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