Simon Jordan believes that re-signing Cristiano Ronaldo will ultimately backfire in the worst way possible for Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The Red Devils looked finished following the arrivals of Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane. Not only did they solve a problem up front, but they also found Harry Maguire a top new centre-back partner.
In fact, Solskjaer said at the start of August that any further signings would come as a “bonus” for his club.
But he stressed that “anything can happen” – and Ronaldo’s headline-grabbing return proved that point. The forward has netted five goals in seven games so far, but the mood has changed.
Ronaldo started Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Everton on the bench. After the match – and in a show of frustration – he muttered to himself as he paced down the tunnel.
Gary Neville admitted that he “didn’t like” what he saw at Old Trafford. He also said that the pressure will now ramp up on Solskjaer to manage the 36-year-old’s personality.
According to former Crystal Palace owner Jordan, the writing is already on the wall for Solskjaer over Ronaldo.
“If you’ve got a manager who is being superseded by a player, the manager needs to be the biggest personality, the biggest image in people’s minds,” the pundit told talkSPORT.
“We all know talent wins games, but ultimately, he needs to be P.T Barnum – not Ronaldo.
“He needs to be the circus master and it is a problem that will be built up and spun up and it will be his undoing.
“The signing of Cristiano Ronaldo will be his undoing, because it will be the narrative, it will be the stick that is used against him every single time that it doesn’t work the way it should do.”
Jordan added that the situation could “all of a sudden” see Ronaldo dominate the agenda at United – but not for the right reasons.
Ronaldo, Solskjaer turn of events
“I tell you why I am not surprised; when a player walks off the pitch giving it the big’un because he is not happy about it, rather than towing the line and showing a bit of respect to the manager that has picked him or not picked him,” Jordan said.
“You’re going to have this, you’re going to have the opportunity for journalists to come in and say, ‘look at what he is doing, there is a rift developing there.’
“All of a sudden, it will be Ronaldo against the manager, or it’ll be about what is happening with Ronaldo.”
In a post-match interview with Match of the Day, Solskjaer noted that Ronaldo is no longer a “young puppy”. He added that he knows better how to manage Ronaldo than experts and journalists.
Jordan, in response, added: “The point I made was about Bruno Fernandes. I was more interested in listening to the situation with Bruno Fernandes, talking about the lack of return in these games and the real disappointment he felt.
“Rather than the grinning, gurning Norwegian that’s talking about this young pup and how he knows better than the so-called expert.”
Rio Ferdinand has also had his say on Ronaldo’s exit from the Old Trafford pitch on Saturday.