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Rio Ferdinand shares his latest Ronaldo-Man United transfer theory

Cristiano Ronaldo, Rio Ferdinand, Manchester United
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The former defender has offered his latest verdict of CR7’s reported desire to leave Old Trafford this summer.

Rio Ferdinand reckons Cristiano Ronaldo will stay at Manchester United for the 2022/23 campaign.

Despite the many reports of Ronaldo’s desire to join a Champions League club, as well as missing United’s pre-season tour, the Portuguese ace is back in training and made a 45-minute cameo in the 1-1 friendly draw against Rayo Vallecano on Sunday.

United have always insisted Ronaldo is not for sale, and Ferdinand doesn’t expect that to change.

“The biggest thing for me is, if you’re Man United, where are you going to find 20 goals?” the ex-Red Devils defender told FootballJOE about his old teammate’s future.

“If you let Cristiano Ronaldo go now, where are the 20 goals coming from? Unless you believe in [Anthony] Martial, [Marcus] Rashford, and [Jadon] Sancho to fill that void.

“If he [manager Erik ten Hag] thinks that, and he feels comfortable doing that, Cristiano probably goes to another team. The fact that Cristiano’s not been allowed to go anywhere says to me they want him back in the building because they know he’s going to get them 20 goals this season.”

Should Ronaldo accept a diminished role?

Asked if a 37-year-old Ronaldo should take on a diminished role, Ferdinand replied: “I think age and your body tells you that, but when you look at someone like Cristiano, he’s a very, very unique case.

“Physically, we’ve never seen anyone like him, and I think you’ve got to look at his physicality and his profile in that sense and go ‘can he play a lot of games?’

“Last season, he showed people he can still play the games and still score the goals at the top level. Who in this team scores more goals than him? When a chance drops to this team, you put him in today without training, if you want a chance to drop to anyone in this squad now, who do you want it to drop to? It’ll be him.

“That tells you he’s still going to be a massive part of what you’re doing at the football club, and the fact they haven’t allowed him to go anywhere tells me that.”