Vlahovic to Juventus puts new spin on United deal with Cristiano Ronaldo

Manchester United reached an agreement with Juventus in August to sign five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo.

United appeared to be the big winner from the deal, signing the Portuguese star for just £12.8million. Commercially, the move was a huge success for United, with the transfer fee being reimbursed in shirt sales and merchandise, The Mirror reported.

On the pitch, Ronaldo has already scored 14 times, while Juventus’ top scorer is Paulo Dybala with 10, whose contract is due to expire in June. The Italian team clearly had a problem up front created by Ronaldo’s departure.

Last January, Juventus made a big money move to sign Fiorentina striker Dusan Vlahovic for £62m.

(Photo by Daniele Badolato – Juventus FC/Juventus FC via Getty Images)

Ranking each club’s January transfer window

Juventus have their post-Ronaldo striker, United don’t

Juventus have ‘been there and done it’ with Ronaldo’s experience now. He scored 101 goals in three seasons and won two Serie A titles and a Coppa Italia.

United are in the ‘first year’ of Ronaldo’s return and he’s older and a little less dynamic than the Juventus version, and a little less ruthless, despite being the team’s top scorer.

Arguably United now have the better player than Juventus as Ronaldo’s experience can really pay off in the Champions League knockout stages compared to Vlahovic who has never played in the competition .

But fast forward to 2024, or even further to say 2027, and Juventus will have no regrets at all about parting ways with Ronaldo when they did and bringing Vlahovic back.

Vlahovic is only 22 and has the ability to be Juventus’ main man for the next decade. They have used this season to find a long-term striker solution, while United are yet to identify the club’s next move.

It’s not a criticism of United, it’s just the way the ground is now. Edinson Cavani’s contract expires this summer, Ronaldo’s stay is expected to be short-lived and Anthony Martial is on loan.

Mason Greenwood is no longer seen as part of United’s future, while Marcus Rashford is more effective on the wing.

Fiorentina vs Juventus FC - Serie A
(Photo by Carlo Bressan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Manchester United need a Vlahovic

United must now identify and work on signing a centre-forward to succeed Ronaldo, whether this summer, next January or the following year.

Do things the way Juventus seem to have done, and the position is sorted for years to come. Vlahovic was reported by The Mail to be on United’s radar, but the club had no intention of moving in January and were not involved in pursuing the forward’s transfer.

Erling Haaland would be ideal, but ESPN reported in January that the Red Devils were out of the running. Don’t completely ignore it, but a move is starting to feel longer than a probability.

The club scouts must then get to work, guided by the club’s new manager. If it’s Mauricio Pochettino, there’s a chance he’ll push for Harry Kane, which would be a costly gamble considering he’s 28.

United would ideally sign an elite young striker in the mold of Vlahovic or Haaland, the problem is that there aren’t too many of them.

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