Despite speculations linking Manchester United with Benfica striker Darwin Nunez, Jaap Stam believes Manchester United should build their team around Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Red Devils are reportedly mulling a €71 million (£60 million) bid for the 22-year-old Uruguay international. Nunez had a fantastic season in Portugal, scoring 27 goals in 34 games across all competitions. Benfica is thought to be worth £67 million.
After a disappointing season, United will try to upgrade their aging roster this summer. They are now in sixth place in the Premier League, four points behind Arsenal in fourth place despite having played one more game, and have failed to qualify for the FA Cup, EFL Cup, or Champions League.
According to The Telegraph, United’s ability to sign Nunez may be contingent on their league standing. The kid is said to desire to play in the Champions League next season, which might entail a move to Spanish champions Atletico Madrid.
Last season, Brighton tried to sign Nunez, while Newcastle and West Ham also expressed interest in him in January. Nunez will meet Liverpool in the Champions League quarter-finals later this month, with the goal of helping Benfica shock Europe.
Despite the transfer rumors, Stam believes Ronaldo will remain the key striker for United next season. Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba, who is out of contract at the end of the season, are also expected to play key roles, according to the former Red Devils defender.
When asked about United’s transfer priority, Stam said, “Well, of course, the midfield and defense are really crucial.” “When you look at the roster right now, there are a few people I believe you should work around in order to develop your team.”
“If you want to keep Cristiano, that’s Cristiano.” Bruno, too, in the midfield, I believe. I’d keep Pogba; there’s a lot of debate about him, but I believe you should use him in a specific way because I like him as a player and what he can provide.”
Between 1998 and 2001, Stam won three Premier League titles, as well as the Champions League, FA Cup, and Intercontinental Cup, which was a predecessor to the Club World Cup. Lazio, AC Milan, and Ajax were among the clubs he represented.
“These are three guys that I’m thinking well if you can use them, then you need to construct the team around them and try to build the squad around them so you can play very lovely and attractive football,” Stam continued.
“You’ve got wingers with a lot of pace, like Rashford on the wing.” There’s also Sancho for the other side, which you can utilize. He enters from the left with his right foot, on the inside with his right. That means you’ll need a full back who is physically fit and skilled on the ball, and who can run up and down the pitch for 95 minutes without getting hurt.
“Trying to find someone who is willing to put in the effort week in and week out and play a lot of games.” That’s also what you’ll need on the right side.”