Gary Neville runs rule on Cristiano Ronaldo's Man Utd transfer, from where he'll play to whether he should be captain

GARY NEVILLE has waxed lyrical over Cristiano Ronaldo after the forward sealed an emotional return back to Manchester United.

After swapping Old Trafford for Real Madrid 12 years ago, the 36-year-old has completed a switch back to the Red Devils on an initial two-year deal.


The five-time Ballon d'Or winner dedicated his transfer to former mentor Sir Alex Ferguson.

Ronaldo is now set to make his second United debut against Newcastle after the international break, with the marksman 18/1 to score a hat-trick.

And former team-mate Neville believes that the centre-forward could feature on the wing to accommodate Edinson Cavani up top.

Speaking on Sky Sports, he said: "I don't think he will have to adapt too much.

"Manchester United have got fantastic forward players, they've got good creative players in [Paul] Pogba and [Bruno] Fernandes and [Donny] Van de Beek.

"So with [Jadon] Sancho out wide, [Marcus] Rashford, [Anthony] Martial and [Mason] Greenwood, they should create plenty of chances for him.

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"Obviously the question would be – I love Cavani – so it will be a question as to whether they play either or, or whether they can both play together somehow.

"Including myself, everyone is thinking that Cristiano is going to play No9, but could he play just to the left of Cavani?

"And then Greenwood or Sancho to the right, which I just think would be a guarantee of goals."

Neville also weighed in on whether Portugal captain Ronaldo could take the armband off skipper Harry Maguire at the Theatre of Dreams.

He remarked: "I'd be very surprised if Harry Maguire get's the captaincy taken off him. I think Harry Maguire is going to be there for the long term, Cristiano is coming in for two years.

"So I don't think that's going to happen, I'd be very surprised if that was the case. I think Cristiano Ronaldo's desire and leadership skills don't have to be brought forward by having the armband.

"I mean it's obviously something I think he likes, that personal accolade, I think he likes the idea of being the leader of the dressing room.

"But I think he also recognises the team I think, and taking the captaincy off of someone, I don't feel would be the right move."

After Ronaldo declared that his return to United was for Sir Alex Ferguson, Neville was asked whether he believed the legendary Scotsman had a part to play in the transfer.

To which he stated: "I think it would have been a big role. I think ultimately Cristiano is his own man and will make his own decision.

"But I think the fact that the relationship the first time round where – you know a lot of people in the early years at Man Utd including myself in the first two or three years – he was so frustrating.

"His decision making, his rawness in the way in which at times he would do things for himself and he wouldn't choose the right option.

"He did frustrate his team-mates at times, but Sir Alex believed in him more than anybody in that initial period and he continued to believe in him over other players.

"And then obviously when Cristiano Ronaldo had personal issues or he had moments where he felt a little bit down at points in his life, Sir Alex Ferguson looked after Cristiano, and I think Cristiano obviously always remembers that."

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