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How Manchester United could line up if Cristiano Ronaldo returns

Sports Mole looks at how Manchester United could line up with Cristiano Ronaldo in their side next season should he return to the club from Juventus.

Juventus vice-president Pavel Nedved recently insisted that Cristiano Ronaldo would be staying in Turin until the end of his contract next summer.

There remains speculation surrounding the 36-year-old's future, though, and it has been claimed that he could seek pastures new in the upcoming market, potentially returning to Manchester United or Real Madrid.

Man United are in desperate need of a new centre-forward due to Anthony Martial's struggles, while Edinson Cavani's future at Old Trafford is in doubt during a period where the Uruguay international is picking up a lot of injuries.

Ronaldo has scored 30 times in 34 appearances for Andrea Pirlo's side this season, while he has managed 95 goals in 123 outings in total for the Italian champions since his arrival.

The Portugal international also enjoyed a hugely successful spell with Man United, and here Sports Mole looks at how the Red Devils could line up next season if the attacker returns to the club.


POSS UTD XI RONALDO

Man United are thought to want a new centre-back during this summer's transfer window, while a new midfielder would be required if Paul Pogba was to move on, potentially heading back to Juventus.

Ronaldo's transfer fee this summer could be as little as £25m, but it would still be an incredibly expensive deal for the Red Devils considering the Portuguese's substantial wages.

The forward's overall performance level has been called into question this season, but he continues to find the back of the net on a regular basis, and there is no reason to believe that he would not thrive back in the Premier League playing alongside international teammate Bruno Fernandes.

Ronaldo would of course need legs around him, with Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood both hugely important players for the Red Devils moving forward, while head coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could decide to select one holding midfielder alongside Pogba next season, keeping his 4-2-3-1 formation intact.

The former Sporting Lisbon youngster scored 118 goals and registered 69 assists in his 292 appearances for Man United between 2003 and 2009, winning three Premier League titles, one FA Cup and one Champions League before making the move to Real Madrid.

There is a feeling that Ronaldo could still play at the highest level into his 40s, and Man United would surely be interested in signing the attacker if he became available this summer.

The Portuguese is no longer a player capable of flying down the field at every opportunity, but he has not forgotten how to find the back of the net, and Solskjaer's team are certainly lacking that cutting edge in the final third, with Martial struggling and Cavani potentially moving on later this year.

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Manchester United's Paul Pogba celebrates scoring against RB Leipzig in the Champions League on December 9, 2020
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Today's Olympic highlights header

Tuesday's key events


DIVING
· Team GB duo Jack Laugher - silver medallist in Rio - and James Heatly take part in the men's 3m springboard semi-final (2am), and will hope to qualify for the final later in the day (7am)

ATHLETICS
· Two Britons are involved in the women's long jump final, but Abigail Irozuru and Jazmin Sawyers have their work cut out to get a spot on the podium (2.50am)
· Norwegian Karsten Warholm, who broke the world record just last month, goes for gold in the men's 400m hurdles final. USA's Rai Benjamin is expected to be his main challenger (4.20am)
· Great Britain have three representatives in the final of the women's 800m, with Jemma Reekie having perhaps the best chance of a medal (1.25pm)
· A mouth-watering women's 200m final sees Elaine Thompson-Herah go for the prestigious sprint double after claiming the 100m crown. Compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Namibia's Christine Mboma and USA's Gabrielle Thomas are expected to be her main competitors (1.50pm)

SAILING
· The rescheduled women's skiff 49er FX (4.33am) and men's skiff 49er (5.33am) come to their conclusion, with Team GB involved in both medal races
· Defending champion Giles Scott bids for a second successive gold in the Finn class medal race (6.33am)
· There is another medal chance for Team GB in the mixed Nacra 17 medal race (7.33am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· Team GB's Joe Fraser takes part in the parallel bars final, kicking off the final day of artistic gymnastics (9am)
· USA superstar Simone Biles, who has been forced to pull out of all of her finals so far, is on the starting list for the beam final as she bids for a fifth Olympic gold (9.50am)

FOOTBALL
· The men's semi-finals take place, with Mexico taking on Brazil first up (9am)
· The winner of that first semi-final will face either hosts Japan or Spain (2pm)

CYCLING
· Laura Kenny will look to win a third straight Olympic team pursuit gold medal. Team GB take on United States in their heat (7.44am), with the gold medal race later that day (9.26am)
· Laura's husband and fellow Olympic legend Jason Kenny will also look to continue his huge success in the men's team sprint - an event he has won gold in at every Games since 2008. Team GB will first need to get through the men's qualifying (7.58am), with the gold medal race ending the session (9.44am)

BOXING
· Pat McCormack will be looking to achieve his dream of Olympic gold when he faces Cuba's Roniel Iglesias (11.05am)

> Today's schedule in full
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