Harry Kane’s decision to stay at Tottenham Hotspur has once again changed the landscape in Manchester City’s quest for a new striker.
The Spurs star was the club’s No. 1 target, and it looked as if at some point a deal was inevitable between the two parties.
But Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy has remained firm in his stance, making negotiations difficult to advance. The result was the England captain’s announcement this week that he was ready to say in north London.
city They now find themselves in a problematic situation.
It is clear that Pep Guardiola wanted and expected the arrival of a new centre-forward, but the options are limited. Champions could be a draw for almost any player across the continent, but only a select few have the ability to improve their threat level in attack.
Erling Haaland Not an option yet and he has now closed the door on Kane, so it’s no surprise that Ronaldo’s movement looks more possessive by the day.
The Juventus star’s future is uncertain and he has been linked with a move away from Turin for almost the entire summer. He was left on the bench in Juventus’ opening match against Udinese at the weekend, further fueling speculation that he is about to leave.
Ronaldo’s problem, though, is that not many parties have the financial capacity to sign him, and in fact, it’s hard to think of a big European team other than City who could.
Perhaps 12 months ago, PSG would have been a suitable destination, but their signing of Lionel Messi makes such a move almost impossible. United have been linked provisionally, but again this seems unlikely given their summer business, while Real Madrid are eyeing Kylian Mbappe, and cash-strapped Barcelona could already pay the players and nothing more.
Another problem for Ronaldo is that at the age of 36, he is not the uncanny talent he was before. In his prime, he was an independent attacker in all respects, capable of dribbling, creating and shooting from anywhere within the attacking third.
However, he had to adjust his playing style in the later stages of his career, focusing almost all of his energy on attacks inside the penalty area, with little work outside of it.
The result is his continuing to be a relentless goalscorer – most notably his 101 goals total in just 134 games for Juventus, which includes 29 goals in 33 appearances over the past season – yet the goal tally comes at a price from the team’s perspective.
Ronaldo’s lack of overall impact beyond just scoring goals means he’s not worth the expense it would cost to bring him to the club for most other parties. Even those who are at the top of the game can rarely afford such luxury and will need more for their investment.
But it’s different in Citi. They already have a near-perfect attacking infrastructure, thanks to the likes of Raheem Sterling, Jack Grealish and Kevin De Bruyne. Building moves that advance toward an opponent’s goal is rarely a problem, but having the right player to finish them is.
Ronaldo could be that guy, even if only for the short term. So, while more long-term goals can be explored and pursued, the truth is that if a deal can be struck for the former United man, it must be.