Roy Keane says Cristiano Ronaldo will bring a “winning mentality” to Old Trafford but his arrival will not enable Manchester United to lift “big trophies”.
The Red Devils on Friday sensationally confirmed a deal has been agreed with Juventus to bring the Portugal captain back to the club where he became one of the best players in the world.
United will reportedly pay £12.8million (€15m) plus £6.9m (€8m) in add-ons for the prolific forward, who scored 118 goals in 292 appearances under Alex Ferguson before joining Real Madrid in 2009.
Three Premier League titles, a Champions League triumph and an FA Cup success were among the honours Ronaldo achieved during his six years with United.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s former captain believes he will be a great acquisition for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.
Asked if he had been swept along by the euphoria ahead of Ronaldo’s impending arrival, the ex-United skipper told Sky Sports: “Yes I have, it’s been great. I think it’s great news for United: for the fans, for the Premier League.
“There’s no doubt in my mind he’s still a world class player. People might have doubts about him but the hunger, the desire is still there. It’s certainly not pay day for him, the guy is worth fortunes.
“We saw in the Euros he won the Golden Boot. The World Cup is about a year and a half away, he’ll have that incentive to keep going.”
Yet Keane does not expect the presence of Ronaldo to help United win the Premier League or Champions League.
He added: “He’s a clever guy, I think he’s only coming back to Man United to win stuff. Okay, my doubts are I don’t think he’ll be the difference in winning the big trophies, but to win an FA Cup or a League Cup, I think that’s more than possible.
“But he’d want more than that. I think he’ll bring a winning mentality to the dressing room, we all know he’s a fitness freak.
“His game has changed over the last year few years obviously and I’ve said it before, I think he’s one of the most intelligent players I’ve ever seen in my life, the way he’s adapted his game.
“He’s a winner, he’s coming back to Man United to win stuff, make no mistake about that. But Man United still have the same problems with or without Ronaldo and that is midfield and goalkeeping problems. But for Ronaldo, I think it’s great.”
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