Manchester United have never been shy when it comes to splashing the cash but they could be left with an extraordinarily difficult decision when the summer transfer window opens as they potentially attempt to choose between signing England captain Harry Kane and former hero Cristiano Ronaldo.
Both Ronaldo and Kane would be welcomed with open arms at Old Trafford, and both would undeniably change Manchester United for the better. However, both would also come with hefty price tags and equally large wage demands. A difficult choice looms for the much-maligned Ed Woodward.
Ronaldo – The Ageing Icon
Reports in Italy have suggested Ronaldo may exit current club Juventus because of the current coronavirus crisis sweeping the globe with even the Turin giants set to feel the financial pinch of the pandemic. The fact that they have already asked players to accept a pay freeze shows that there’s a bit of meat to this story, too.
Ronaldo, who turned 35 in February, remains one of the biggest attractions in world football and would have no end of suitors. However, few clubs are able to match his hefty demands.
United are one of those few, opening up the possibility of an emotional return to Old Trafford, a venue where Ronaldo produced so many brilliant performances during a remarkably successful career in Manchester from 2003-09 before leaving for Real Madrid with a heavy heart and bulging bank balance.
Ronaldo won the Premier League three times with United, two League Cups, an FA Cup and also the Champions League when the Red Devils overcame Chelsea in Moscow in 2008 despite the Portuguese superstar missing his penalty in the shootout.
He then went on to win another four Champions League titles with Madrid and scored 21 Serie A goals in 22 matches this season for Juventus before the campaign was postponed.
Ronaldo has won it all and his Manchester return would be celebrated wildly by the Stretford End faithful, however, given his astronomical wages and his age it could well be argued that 26-year-old Kane would be the more sensible signing.
Kane – The Future Hero
Kane has never tasted success at club level with Tottenham, although he has won two Premier League Golden Boots and also finished as top goalscorer at the 2018 World Cup in Russia as England made the semi-finals.
With the right players around him he will win trophies and it appears he has become understandably frustrated with Tottenham’s lack of progress.
One of their own he may well be, but Kane has publicly stated he will no longer remain at the club for the sake of it which will have been of great interest to a number of clubs, including United.
Kane would thrive on the through balls of ace January arrival Bruno Fernandes and even in a struggling side this season, the striker has thrived personally on the goals front despite injury ruining part of the campaign.
Only Bundesliga-based duo Erling Braut Haaland and Robert Lewandowski have eclipsed Kane’s six goals in the 2019-20 Champions League and he bagged 11 times in 20 Premier League outings, first under Mauricio Pochettino and then Jose Mourinho once the Argentinian was axed in November.
It’s a tough choice for United to make but a nice one all the same. Maybe Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would be better advised to ignore sentiment and make Kane his number one summer target.