Sunday 25 August 2019

Gary Neville: I'd prefer if Manchester United targeted Gareth Bale over Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale
Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Manchester United legend Gary Neville has urged the Old Trafford club to reject the temptation to re-sign Cristiano Ronaldo - and focus their attention on capturing Gareth Bale instead.

Ronaldo has hinted time and again that he may be tempted to make a return to United, yet Neville suspect the 30-year-old superstar may be past his best if he did make an Old Trafford comeback.

He believes a move to sign Ronaldo's Real Madrid team-mate Gareth Bale makes more sense, as he suggests the more youthful Welshman is a better long-term option.

 “I am not sure it is such a good thing for Cristiano to come back,” says Neville in several Sunday newspapers.

“The emotion says come back but do you remember when Newcastle used to bring back their old players to be manager?

“And then Liverpool started doing it and I thought: 'No. Let’s not start becoming a club like that.'

“This kind of pining for the past. I don’t really want that.

“I’d prefer us to get Gareth Bale and that’s no disrespect to Cristiano who I think is possibly the biggest talent I have ever played with - not the best player I ever played with - but the biggest talent.

"But the idea of coming back as his swan song? It won’t be the same for him as it was before.

“He does like warm weather. He likes the sun and we know that from when he was here. That’s not a criticism of him, he was just used to that.

“It will not be the same for him as it was before but it won’t be the same for us and I am not sure. It would be about emotion. And I am not sure emotion and sport go together really in that way.”

“He is an amazing player and what he did for two years at United was out of this world and it was a privilege to be part of it."

Ronaldo may be open to a move away from Real Madrid next summer, with French giants Paris Saint-Germain also strongly linked with a move for the current FIFA World Player of the Year.

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