If Cristiano Ronaldo continues at Manchester United, he will have a new manager next season. According to recent rumors, Erik ten Hag will take over at Old Trafford, with the Dutchman now ahead of rivals Mauricio Pochettino and Thomas Tuchel in the race for the job. His words earlier in the season, though, indicate that he will not accept mediocrity from whoever follows Ralf Rangnick.
Many expected Manchester United to fight for the Premier League title when they re-signed Cristiano Ronaldo from Juventus in the summer, beating out arch-rivals Manchester City to the player’s signing.
With the additions of Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer appeared to have all the weapons he needed to compete with Liverpool, Manchester City, and Chelsea for the game’s major domestic titles.
United, on the other hand, has disintegrated in the intervening years.
When Solskjaer was fired in November, the club’s administration believed the season might still be saved because they were still in contention for the FA Cup and the Champions League.
Nonetheless, they’ve persevered under Ralf Rangnick, exiting those competitions to Middlesbrough and Atletico Madrid, respectively, with both of those defeats coming at Old Trafford.
Ronaldo has attempted to contribute this season, scoring an astounding 18 goals across all competitions despite his abilities beginning to diminish.
But this was not why he returned to United. He expected to be contending for trophies rather than finishing in the top four of the Premier League.
United appears to be gearing up to target Ten Hag.
According to The Sun, the 52-year-old, who has performed wonders at Ajax during his time in Amsterdam, is currently leading the race to become the new manager of the fallen titans.
However, comments made earlier in the season indicate that Ten Hag will need to wave his magic wand immediately – or risk another difficult season for the team.
Ronaldo made it plain that he was not returning to the club to compete for Champions League qualifying.
And he also implied that he knew how to fix the problems at United, so if Ten Hag listens to the veteran will be interesting to see.
In an interview with Sky Sports in January, he stated, “We are capable of changing things now.” I know the way, but I’m not going to say it here because I don’t think it’s ethical for me to do so.
“What I can say is that we can all do better.
“Manchester (United) is associated with major things, therefore we must change that.”
“I don’t want to come here to finish in sixth, seventh, or fifth place.” I’m here to compete and strive to win.
“I believe we compete, but we are not yet at our peak.” But we have a long way to go, and I feel that if we change our minds, we can accomplish great things.”
While Ten Hag is the popular choice for United, he will be given the most difficult challenge of his career.
Working as a No. 2 at Bayern Munich is demanding, but it pales in comparison to being the main guy at United.
It’s also a far different challenge from the one he was given at Ajax when he took over in 2017.
Former United defender Jaap Stam recently cautioned Ten Hag about what to anticipate if he gets the job at Old Trafford.
“Ten Hag is doing extremely well at Ajax; he makes the team a challenging opponent for everyone in Europe and Holland,” he explained.
“He is excellent at both showing the team what to do and improving individual players.”
“At Ajax, he clearly has the funds to build the club with young players.”
“Manchester United would be a different experience for him than what he is experiencing in Holland.”
“He needs to take this next step in his career.”