Manchester United have sensationally been tipped to replace boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with forward Cristiano Ronaldo next year.
The Red Devils completed the incredible transfer return of the iconic striker in the summer but he has already been told he could take a new role at the club.
Solskjaer has come under increased pressure to deliver the club its first trophy since 2017.
A big-spending summer transfer window has prompted fans to demand that the Norwegian finally achieve success at Old Trafford.
Ronaldo was one of several major arrivals at United, re-joining the club 12 years after he completed a then-world record move to Real Madrid. Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane and Tom Heaton were also acquired as Solskjaer plans to topple rivals Manchester City at the top of the Premier League.
United suffered a setback in their attempts to win a trophy last week when they were surprisingly beaten by Young Boys in their opening Champions League campaign.
Solskjaer faced criticism for the result but Ronaldo also came under fire for delivering instructions on the touchline. The Portugal captain had opened the scoring in the game but was later withdrawn.
He was pictured stood behind Solskjaer in the dugout and shouting orders to team-mates. However, former Tottenham manager Tim Sherwood has insisted that Ronaldo’s actions were acceptable, contrary to arguments that suggested he was undermining Solskjaer.
Sherwood went on to incredibly suggest that Ronaldo, who signed a two-year deal when he joined from Juventus, could replace Solskjaer within 18 month.
I think it’s okay that Ronaldo’s on the touchline and Ole’s going to have to accept it,” said Sherwood, speaking exclusively to Ladbrokes at its launch of the 5-A-Side bet on Arsenal v Spurs.
“If he brings him to his football club you’ve got to know what you’re bringing in. It’s a completely different Ronaldo to the one who was at Old Trafford the first time around.
“He knows how he’s needed and if he feels like he needs to stand next to the manager and give instructions then you’ve got to let him do that.
“I’m not sure he’d be doing that with Jose Mourinho mind you, it would be very different with him still in charge, but you’d also have to ask Ronaldo why he feels it’s necessary to stand up and give some instruction in the first place.
We’ve seen him do it on the international stage, most recently at the Euros, barking out orders. That boy will be a manager 100 per cent. I would have a bet on him being Manchester United manager in 18 months.
“Whenever Ronaldo finishes playing I think he will become a manager, it will be an automatic choice. If they win the Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup, any of those trophies, then Solskjaer keeps his job, but if they don’t win anything I think they’ve got a manager there in the making.
“He could bring an experienced coach in there with him – someone like Carlos Queiroz – as he’ll know plenty of them, and I can see him being a manager at Man United in the future.
“He’s almost coaching now – you saw it at the weekend during the warm-up whispering in Varane’s and [Harry] Maguire’s ears, but I don’t think it’s that he needs the captain’s armband to be a leader, he leads by example anyway. He did when he was at United the first time it’s just now he’s being more vocal with it.”