Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo is reportedly wanted by Atletico Madrid. So the Red Devils can use that to their advantage by suggesting a swap deal, plus money, for Joao Felix. The Portugal international has admirers behind the scenes at Old Trafford and would be a huge asset for any team in Europe.
Manchester United want to keep hold of Ronaldo.
That’s something Erik ten Hag has made clear on numerous occasions, with the Dutchman insisting he’s planning for the upcoming season with the 37-year-old involved.
But they’re also acutely aware that keeping an unhappy superstar of Ronaldo’s calibre could do more harm than good.
Atletico Madrid have publicly downplayed interest in the Portugal international, who previously spent nine years at fierce rivals Real Madrid.
But the La Liga side do appear to be keen on landing the veteran with Diego Simeone giving his approval.
So United, if Atletico do launch a bid, should launch a counter-offer of their own.
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Jadon Sancho was their priority that summer and, when it became clear a deal would be difficult to broker, they enquired about Felix’s availability.
And while he’s a young gem, the temptation of having Ronaldo on board could be too tough to ignore.
United, as we mentioned above, are adamant Ronaldo will be going nowhere this summer.
But keeping him, against his will, could disrupt the harmony that Ten Hag is trying to maintain at Old Trafford.
Even now, there’s a sense it would be in United’s best interests to get Ronaldo off the books.
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Their current forwards Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho, are ticking along nicely without Ronaldo during pre-season.
They provide the Red Devils with a speed and rapidity that was sorely lacking as they toiled under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick last term.
And suggesting a swap deal with Atletico for Felix, with money involved as well, would be a wise move to consider.
Regarding Ronaldo, meanwhile, former United star Teddy Sheringham recently urged his old side to offload the 37-year-old.
“I half saw it coming,” Sheringham told Sportsmail. “People are saying shall Ten Hag build his team around Ronaldo, but if he wants to go, he goes. That opens up a whole new corridor for United.
“You could get in two or three players on that sort of wage and that is a lot of money they could spend each month.
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“Life goes on, he wants to go and play somewhere else, so get players in that you know who are going to be strong and stable throughout the season.
“Ronaldo will have been watching what has been going on, he will feel the vibes from how it was in Fergie’s time and how the club is being run now and he will get the vibes that he does not like what he is seeing going on.
“If you stand still in football, you fall and maybe Ronaldo sees the same. Where is that big signing coming from?
“If I’m Ronaldo now, I’m saying go on then United, excite me…what are you doing in the transfer market.
“Ronaldo has got maybe another year or two years max at the top level and he deserves to enjoy his football at the top of his game.”