Ernesto Valverde could become the coach of Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United if the speculations making the round are anything to go by.
Top media outfits in the United Kingdom claimed that Manchester United have had talks with Ernesto Valverde to make him the club’s interim coach until the end of the season.
If the 57-year-old Spanish coach reaches an agreement with the Premier League side, Valverde would replace Michael Carrick who started his caretaker role at the club on a winning note against Villarreal in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday, November 23.
According to reports, Manchester United’s priority is to appoint the current coach of Paris Saint Germain Mauricio Pochettino in a permanent capacity. The Argentine coach has been the club’s top choice to replace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer who was sacked last weekend.
Though Manchester United are willing to bring Pochettino to Old Trafford before this season ends, that might not work as the coach still has less than two seasons left on his contract with PSG.
Recently, Pochettino was asked to comment over Manchester United’s interest in him, the former Tottenham Hotspur coach stressed that he is happy at PSG.
“Football is today, football is not tomorrow”, he said. “There is nothing in tomorrow. Of course, the club needs to plan, and we need to plan and are working and thinking, always, about what is going to happen tomorrow. But football is about results.
“I remember always two years ago, we left Tottenham. I remember one month or a few weeks before, in the media, there were a lot of rumors linking us with another club, and look what happened after. In football, it is about living the present, not about living the past or the future. We need to think always you are going to be for life in the club you are…
“I think I was clear. My contract is 2023, this season and one season more. I don’t say anything different. I’m really happy in Paris Saint-Germain – that’s a fact. We are in a business where the rumors are there, I completely understand what is going on – sometimes in a positive way and sometimes in a negative way. This type of thing cannot distract.
“They are rumors. Rumors are there and we need to live with that. That is the football that we are living in. We are so focused. We are giving 100% to try to get the best form for the club, and for the players to try to perform the best way. I am so happy for Paris Saint-Germain. For tomorrow we are focused to try to get the best result we can.
“We cannot talk about that because I respect my club, Paris St-Germain, my respect to another club. What another club is doing at this moment is not my business, it is not my problem.”
Even though Pochettino has made it clear that he is happy at PSG, Manchester United are still trying to bring the Argentine coach to the club.
While they wait for that to happen, Ernesto Valverde could come in to lead the club for the rest of the season.
Manchester United board had a direct contact with former Barça manager Ernesto Valverde today, as per @JamieJackson___ 🔴 #MUFC— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) November 23, 2021
No decision made yet – he’s one of the five candidates in the list in case Mauricio Pochettino won’t be allowed to leave Paris Saint-Germain.
Ernesto Valverde has a fair history with Cristiano Ronaldo
Ernesto Valverde is one of the coaches in European football whose teams have confronted Cristiano Ronaldo a couple of times.
Recall that Ronaldo spent 9 years in Spanish La Liga with Real Madrid between 2009 and 2018. During that period, Ernesto Valverde coached Villarreal, Valencia, Athletic Bilbao, and Barcelona.
In one of his press conferences when he was the coach of Athletic Bilbao in 2016, Valverde was asked whether Ronaldo’s career was declining ahead of a league game between his team and Real Madrid. The Spanish coach answered and said Ronaldo did not like to be provoked and could score at least three goals per game.
The coach said “Cristiano’s decline? What is there to say? We play him, and you try not to mention anything so you don’t make him angry. He could score three or four goals in every game.
“It’s normal the season has low points, he’s always hungry to score…I don’t see many ups and downs. Those who are closer can have another opinion but when we face him there’s always danger in every play.”
That same year, Ronaldo went on to help Real Madrid to win the UEFA Champions League, FIFA Club World Cup, and La Liga. He also won the Ballon d’Or that same year.
Hence, Valverde is one of the coaches that respect what Ronaldo can do which means that if he joins Manchester United as an interim coach, he would rely so much on Ronaldo to the delight of the Portuguese football icon.