Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo has been backed to become a manager and potentially replace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at the club in the next 18 months.
That’s according to former Tottenham Hotspur star Tim Sherwood, who has piled the pressure on Solskjaer by suggesting his successor is already within the ranks of his dressing room.
Solskjaer is under pressure to deliver the first trophy at the club since 2017, with the Europa League final loss to Villarreal last season particularly painful.
In the final 20 minutes of last week’s Champions League curtain-raiser against Young Boys, Ronaldo could be seen frantically waving his arm on the touchline as United battled for a point in Switzerland.
Sherwood has now commented on the uncomfortable scene, insisting it’s fine, and even backed the winger-turned-forward to move into management in Manchester within 18 months.
“I think it’s OK that Ronaldo’s on the touchline and Ole’s going to have to accept it,” he is quoted as saying by talkSPORT. “If he brings him to his football club you’ve got to know what you’re bringing in. It’s a completely different Ronaldo to the one who was at Old Trafford the first time around.
“He knows how he’s needed and if he feels like he needs to stand next to the manager and give instructions then you’ve got to let him do that. I’m not sure he’d be doing that with Jose Mourinho mind you, it would be very different with him still in charge, but you’d also have to ask Ronaldo why he feels it’s necessary to stand up and give some instruction in the first place.
“We’ve seen him do it on the international stage, most recently at the Euros, barking out orders. That boy will be a manager 100 percent. I would have a bet on him being Manchester United manager in 18 months. Whenever Ronaldo finishes playing I think he will become a manager, it will be an automatic choice.”
Certainly, it’s a brave statement from the 1994/95 Premier League title-winner. Ronaldo signed a two-year contract with the option to extend it for a further year so an immediate change in role at the club is highly unlikely.