Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Jose Mourinho said Cristiano Ronaldo was the kind of player every manager would want in their squad amid speculation the Real Madrid forward could be on his way back to Old Trafford.
The Portugal international, 32, has been linked with a return to Manchester United and Mourinho has stated previously he intends to make a big signing ahead of next season.
Reports in Spain claim Ronaldo will join United if Real are able to persuade Brazil forward Neymar to move from Paris Saint-Germain.
United sold Ronaldo to Real for a then-world record £80 million ($114 million, 92 million euros) in July 2009 and while Mourinho did not want to heighten speculation, he gave United fans a glimmer of hope on Thursday.
“I think at the moment Real Madrid is with him now. I think I should be the last one to add some fuel to the fire,” the United manager said.
“Madrid is on fire. The results are not good, and it’s a club where I worked for three years, I care about the club and I am the last one to add fire.
“So to put some water on the fire I think Cristiano is the kind of player that every manager wants, every club wants,” the Portuguese boss added.
“But only one manager can, only one club can have — (Zinedine) Zidane and Real Madrid, that’s my feeling.
“We want to improve all the time and get better and better. We want to achieve big things. We are not going to stop until we do that.”
Mourinho meanwhile believes Alexis Sanchez has left a “fantastic club for a giant club” as he prepares to hand him a United debut against Yeovil Town in the FA Cup on Friday.
The Chile forward, 29, joined United from Arsenal in a swap deal which saw Armenia playmaker Henrikh Mkhitaryan move in the opposite direction.
Sanchez will be United’s squad for Friday’s fourth-round tie at Huish Park and Mourinho could not resist a veiled dig at Arsene Wenger’s side as he considered the merits of the transfer.
“Manchester United made a fantastic deal,” Mourinho said.
“I think Arsenal also made a fantastic deal… I got a fantastic player, and Mr Wenger got a fantastic player.
“Alexis changed from a fantastic club to a giant club. Henrikh Mkhitaryan changed also to a fantastic club. So I think it was a great deal for everyone.”
200+ Channels With Sports & News
- Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
- Watch Premier League, World Cup, Euro 2024 & more
- Includes NBC, USA, FOX, ESPN, CBSSN & more
Live & On Demand TV Streaming
- Price: $69.99/mo. for Entertainment package
- Watch World Cup, Euro 2024 & MLS
- Includes ESPN, ESPN2, FS1 + local channels
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
- Price: $6.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
- Features Bundesliga, LaLiga, Championship, & more
- Also includes daily ESPN FC news & highlights show
2,000+ soccer games per year
- Price: $4.99/mo
- Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & NWSL
- Includes CBS, Star Trek & CBS Sports HQ
175 Premier League Games & PL TV
- Starting price: $4.99/mo. for Peacock Premium
- Watch 175 exclusive EPL games per season
- Includes Premier League TV channel plus movies, TV shows & more
- Arsenal, Dortmund, Real Madrid, City and Juve kits for 2022/23
- Man City’s Foden voted Premier League Young Player of the season
- Where to find Freiburg vs. Leipzig DFB-Pokal Final on TV
- Where to find Barcelona vs. Lyon Women’s Champions League on TV
- Where to find Rangers vs. Hearts Scottish Cup Final on US TV
- Where to find Sunderland vs. Wycombe on US TV
- Guardiola adamant winning Premier League harder than Champions League
- Klopp refuses to dream of stunning Premier League title triumph
- Berkane sink Pirates on penalties to maintain Moroccan dominance
- Ecuador World Cup spot at risk after potential ineligible player