Man Utd have made excellent U-turn on ‘Ronaldo rule’ at Old Trafford

ten Hag previews Man Utd's FA Cup tie against Reading

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Manchester United have reportedly decided to scrap a ‘Cristiano Ronaldo salary rule’ at Old Trafford. And, given their need to tie Marcus Rashford down to a new contract and desire to land the world’s best footballers, that’s for the best. The Red Devils have been on an upwards trajectory in recent months and, on Friday, continued their silverware charge with a 3-1 win over Reading in the FA Cup.

Ronaldo earned close to £400,000-a-week at United, with the club giving him a huge salary upon re-signing him in the summer transfer window of 2021.

And it was recently claimed the Red Devils were taking action behind the scenes to avoid any problems in the future.

It was suggested United would introduce a salary cap at £200,000-a-week in order to ensure nobody earns drastically more than anybody else.

But while it’s an approach that would have been a respectful one, the truth is it’s difficult to implement.

United need to tie Rashford down to a new contract, with the England international currently in the form of his life.

Many wrote off the 25-year-old at the beginning of the season, particularly after his struggles under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick.

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But Rashford has responded by bagging 18 goals across all competitions, re-establishing himself as one of the best forwards in world football in the process.

Rashford’s current United deal is due to expire next year after the club triggered a 12-month extension.

And his performances mean restricting his earnings would be a terrible move, especially given interest from Paris Saint-Germain.

PSG have the money to pay Rashford whatever he wants, amid a longstanding appreciation for the United star.

Indeed, the Ligue 1 giants held talks with the attacker’s camp last year with the hope of bringing him in at a future date.

United, however, can’t afford to lose their best forward. Not with Antony and Anthony Martial so infuriatingly inconsistent.

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By scrapping the Ronaldo rule they’d originally planned to implement, United can now fight PSG on an even playing field.

And it also gives them a shot at bringing the world’s best players to the club, too.

United have huge interest in Tottenham hitman Harry Kane, with the England international keeping his options open in north London.

But while there are some individuals who will come regardless of the pay packet on offer, not everybody is so inclined.

United, if they’re to land players of Kane’s calibre, will have to use their financial muscle to get a potential deal done.

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Capping their salaries would only hold them back. This way, United don’t have any restrictions on them.

Former United star Paul Parker, meanwhile, has defended Wout Weghorst amid criticism of the Netherlands international.

Weghorst has been brought in as a temporary replacement for Ronaldo following the veteran’s sudden exit in November.

And Parker said: “I think that people have been too harsh towards Wout Weghorst. He has only played three games and it’s way too early to judge him.

“But it is Man United and you are going to be judged. Every single player is under a massive pressure and they have to handle that 24 hours a day.

“And people have to remember that he is not a Ronaldo. Ronaldo was a better footballer but this guy is offering something different. He works hard and he wants to help the club.

“But all the Ronaldo fanboys are just throwing mud at the idiom, which is a disgrace.

“They should want the club to have success and not only think about their hero who has a new life in a league that only his fans care about.”

Parker added: “Also, remember that Weghorst needs to adapt to playing in England again. He just arrived here from the European China, which is what Turkey is in terms of football.

“The Turkish league is a graveyard league where players go if they want to have a vacation or earn money.”

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