Cristiano Ronaldo’s role under Ralf Rangnick is already a hot topic, whether the superstar fits his style of play.

Ronaldo is adaptable and tactically, player and manager are smart enough to work out a solution on the pitch.

Whether Rangnick has the willpower to do so, is another matter. Starting a 36-year-old Ronaldo does not fit the interim boss’ general philosophy.

He explained this in detail early last year after negotiations with AC Milan, giving a scathing view on veteran star Zlatan, who has since turned 40.

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(Photo by Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images)


Rangnick told La Gazzetta dello Sport: “What you should be asking is: why did Milan turn to me? What did they want to do? Maybe they were looking for a change of direction.

“It’s not my style to focus on a 38-year-old player, not because of talent, but because I prefer to create value and develop talent.

“It made little sense to me the idea of relying on Ibrahimovic or Simon Kjaer, but that’s just my way of seeing things, it’s not necessarily right or wrong. When Ibra said he didn’t know me, he wasn’t wrong. I’ve never met him.”

How adaptable can Rangnick be?

As interim boss, Rangnick may scale down his demands in terms of what he wants. But may be don’t count on it.

Former Schalke star Christian Fuchs, a title winner with Leicester City, told BBC Sport last week: “His idea of how he wants to play pressing, attacking football will never change.”

Ronaldo will likely be enthusiastic about working and learning under Rangnick.

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(Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)

The experienced boss is a better manager than his last two, Andrea Pirlo, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and he should relish the chance to learn something new.

And Ronaldo may have several years in him left too. He is 36, but it would surprise nobody if he is still playing top level football into his 40s.

This might mean Rangnick could bend his view on Ronaldo, and while he won’t want to isolate or antagonise a highly valuable club icon, from a long-term perspective, the interim boss will be planning for a future beyond the club’s number seven.

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