Monday, July 4, 2022

Berbatov says Man Utd need to be ´dreaming´ of signing Haaland and defends under-fire Ronaldo

SoccerNews in Bundesliga 1 Mar 2022

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Manchester United have to be “dreaming” of landing players like Erling Haaland says Dimitar Berbatov, who also defended Cristiano Ronaldo’s recent performances for the Red Devils.

Interim boss Ralf Rangnick was recently filmed on a video clip posted to social media saying “Who? What are you dreaming at night?!” in response to a fan asking if United were going to sign Borussia Dortmund star Haaland.

The Norway striker certainly has no shortage of suitors with the likes of Manchester City, Real Madrid and Barcelona all heavily linked with the superstar forward.

With United way off the pace in the Premier League and firmly remaining outsiders in the hunt for the Champions League, Rangnick was perhaps not too far wide of the mark when suggesting Haaland is out of reach for now.

But former United striker Berbatov believes Haaland is the kind of player United have to once again think about signing to restore their standing among the elite clubs in Europe.

“I saw the video going around social media of Ralf Rangnick laughing off Erling Haaland signing for United,” Berbatov told Betfair, in quotes reported by several British newspapers.

“He told a fan that they ‘must be dreaming’ about signing him, maybe that’s a sign that they can’t afford him or it’s not possible for him to move to the club at this moment in time when they aren’t producing good enough football to get his interest, maybe that’s what he meant.

“For me they need to go back to those high standards of performance that they used to set, so that they can attract big players.

“Everybody wants him in summer and maybe Rangnick was being realistic. It’s not a great look, though, and in this day and age you have to be careful because you can end up in a moment where you need to explain yourself.

“You must be mad to not want a player like Haaland in your team, so maybe Ralf Rangnick should start dreaming.”

One superstar whose future at United remains a little unclear is veteran forward Ronaldo, who made a sensational return to Old Trafford in August.

Ronaldo is United’s top scorer this season but he has netted only once in 2022, while his comeback has coincided with a campaign that saw Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sacked and persistent rumours of dressing room unrest among the squad.

Berbatov, though, suggested the 37-year-old is allowed to have bad games and said the onus is on his team-mates to produce the goods when he is not playing at his best.

“When teams have a bad result the star players always end up with the blame, and at the minute with Manchester United, that’s Cristiano Ronaldo,” said Berbatov, who played alongside Ronaldo during his four years at Old Trafford.

“At the moment he’s got just one goal in 10 games and that seems problematic for everybody, but not for me.

“There are eleven players on the pitch and the blame should be shared. Ronaldo is an icon in the world of football and people need to remember that he’s 37.

“So, from time to time he is allowed to have a couple of bad games. But I don’t think that is the problem here.

“People need to be realistic with him and they need to know that it’s totally different when you’re 37 to being 27.

“He is going to have moments when he needs his team-mates to produce more for him, that’s normal in football. Ronaldo is a total professional and he will speak to the manager and he will want to produce more.

“Everybody in the United team needs to produce more, the standards should be a lot higher than they are.

“Ronaldo is also a realistic guy, he will know that his performances aren’t where he wants them to be, even though he’s older and his game is totally different, he sets very high standards. I don’t think that needs explaining to him.”

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