Rio Ferdinand doesn’t think Cristiano Ronaldo will leave Manchester United this summer.
It may come as a hindrance to some that Ronaldo’s future has been a constant talking point throughout the summer, with Erik ten Hag trying his best to prepare his new team for the 2022/23 Premier League campaign.
Ronaldo’s future was thrown into doubt after United failed to qualify for the Champions League and it was thought that a summer transfer could see the 37-year-old sign for a club that has already qualified for Europe’s biggest competition.
The Portuguese star returned to training at Carrington and played 45 minutes against Rayo Vallecano on Sunday.
Former United defender Rio Ferdinand doesn’t expect the club to sell his former team-mate.
Speaking to FootballJOE, he said: “The biggest thing for me is, if you’re Man United, where are you going to find 20 goals?
“If you let Cristiano Ronaldo go now, where are the 20 goals coming from? Unless you believe in Martial, Rashford and Sancho to fill that void.
“If he [Ten Hag] thinks that, and he feels comfortable doing that, Cristiano probably goes to another team. The fact that Cristiano’s not been allowed to go anywhere says to me they want him back in the building, because they know he’s going to get them 20 goals this season.”
Ferdinand also argued that Ronaldo is a unique player at 37 since he can still score over 20 goals at the highest level.
“I think age and your body tell you that, but when you look at someone like Cristiano, he’s a very, very unique case. Physically, we’ve never seen anyone like him, and I think you’ve got to look at his physicality and his profile in that sense and go ‘can he play a lot of games?’
“Last season, he showed people he can still play the games and still score at the top level. Who in this team scores more goals than him? When a chance drops to this team, you put him in today without training, if you want a chance to drop to anyone in this squad now, who do you want it to drop to? It’ll be him.
“That tells you he’s still going to be a massive part of what you’re doing at the football club, and the fact they haven’t allowed him to go anywhere tells me that.”
It will be interesting to see how Ten Hag will manage Ronaldo if he stays at United next season. He doesn’t need to play every week and I’m sure the Dutchman will want to give Anthony Martial a chance to finally make something of his career.