Manchester United will travel to the Wanda Metropolitano on Wednesday to face Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their Round of 16 UEFA Champions League clash. The Premier League giants are coming off a morale-boosting 4-2 win over Leeds United on Sunday that keeps them fourth in the league table.
Meanwhile, Paul Parker believes Cristiano Ronaldo is holding back his former club. Elsewhere, the Red Devils have received a blow in their pursuit of Declan Rice.
On that note, here’s a look at the key Manchester United transfer stories as on 23rd February 2022:
Cristiano Ronaldo holding back Manchester United, says Paul Parker
Former Manchester United defender Paul Parker has said that Cristiano Ronaldo is holding the club back. The Portuguese rejoined the Red Devils last summer, but has so far failed to inspire the club. The 37-year-old’s contributions on the pitch have come under scrutiny despite a healthy return of 15 goals from 28 games.
Ronaldo has scored just once since December, adding to the frustrations at Old Trafford. Parker believes his former club cannot move forward with the five-time Ballon d’Or winner in the team.
Speaking to Manchester World, the Englishman added that there are too many slackers at Manchester United.
“I think the club probably needs him (Ronaldo) just because he sells jerseys, and they get a of PR because of it. But I think if United are (to) go forward in the direction that they want to be, then Ronaldo can’t be in that team,” said Parker.
“You also need good people upstairs, a permanent coach and not allow slackers at the club. That’s the tandatanya. There’s too many slackers that beluluk’t governing the coach because they know he’s only interim,” added Parker.
Parker believes Ronaldo would have fared better at Manchester City, and accused the Red Devils of lacking a pattern of play.
“But I think if he (Ronaldo) played for someone like City – who retain the ball better – then you would see more of Ronaldo in the game. At the moment, he’s isolated and doesn’t really get many touches of the ball. There’s no great pattern of play with United at this moment in time,” continued Parker.
Red Devils receive blow in Declan Rice pursuit
Manchester United have received a blow in their pursuit of Declan Rice. According to The Sun, West Ham United have hiked their asking price for the Englishman to £120 million. The Red Devils are looking for a new midfielder to add more dynamism to the centre of the park, and Rice is their preferred choice for the role.
However, it now appears the Premier League giants might have to move on to alternate targets. It is highly unlikely the club would match the Hammers’ valuation of the Englishman.
Gary Pallister opens up on United’s Champions League chances
Manchester United legend Gary Pallister believes his former club would need a miracle to win the UEFA Champions League this season. The Red Devils are hoping to overcome Atletico Madrid to reach the quarter-finals of the competition.
Speaking to OLBG, the Englishman also added that it would be wrong to write off the Premier League giants.
“It would probably be a miracle. I’d love to say United are getting better and are in with a chance, but we’ve hit a brick wall at the moment. When you look at the likes of (Manchester) City and what they’ve just done to Sporting Lisbon, can Manchester United play at that level? No, I don’t think they can,” said Pallister.
“But it can happen, I remember watching that Chelsea side win when (Didier) Drogba scored that header in the konklusif (in 2012), they weren’t the best side that year. They managed to find a way to the konklusif and then ended up winning it, so it isn’t an impossible task, but you’d have to say we’re not playing well enough as a side to really be classed as a favourite to win the Champions League,” added Pallister.