Dan McDonnell joined John Duggan on Football Saturday to discuss Cristiano Ronaldo and Erik ten Hag.
Cristiano Ronaldo is the elephant in the dressing room.
Beloved by Manchester United fans and by the Glazers' commercial ambitions, the Manchester United forward is facing an uncertain summer. Erik ten Hag is not being hired as a big name who is going to come in and help Manchester United build revenues and breach new commercial markets. He's a football manager.
Every report about ten Hag suggests he is fully focused on what happens on the pitch. He's going to build a team in his identity, a team that plays to his philosophy and a team that can maintain success over the long-term. But doing that with Cristiano Ronaldo in the squad won't be possible.
Ronaldo didn't have many suitors when he was available last summer. Manchester City were heavily linked before Manchester United swooped in. Now that City's season has developed, we can assume that he would have been a bit-part player for Pep Guardiola.
This season has shown that Ronaldo doesn't have the legs to start every week at the highest levels of European football. So is it time he considered an alternative area of the world?
Dan McDonnell considered Ronaldo's options and the impact on ten Hag's future during Football Saturday.
"It would be the league buying him opposed to a club," McDonnell said.
"That's the MLS model. I'm sure they'd be willing to consider that very strongly. Where else he would go I don't know...the suggestion is they're hiring [ten Hag] purely for the football side, to create a team in the particular style he wants. You can't have legacy issues that hinder that."
David Beckham, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the biggest name of them all, Robbie Keane, all thrived in the MLS at the end of their respective careers. Ronaldo is on par with Beckham and would likely destroy all the goalscoring records in a matter of seasons.
He's still fit enough and fast enough to thrive in America. He could also go back to Portugal and play for Sporting Lisbon to bookend his career how it began.
Regardless of where he goes, ten Hag can't endure a first season where the focus is not on the wider squad.
"It may well be the job is too complicated because he can't clear out the entire dressing room.
"If he does genuinely believe that Ronaldo doesn't fit what he wants to do then that has to be sorted. Because otherwise it becomes a real issue for him. What's going to be the number one question you're going to be asked about all the time? Understandably so it's one of the most famous names in the world who will be photographed on the bench every time he's not playing."
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