Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has reportedly told his Manchester United squad that they are better than the club’s 1999 treble-winning side that the Norwegian was a part of.
The Red Devils have added Raphael Varane, Jadon Sancho and Cristiano Ronaldo to the side that finished 12 points behind Premier League champions Manchester City last season in a busy summer for Solskjaer’s side.
An Old Trafford return for Ronaldo, who moves back to the north west 12 years after departing for Real Madrid, is a particularly important move with the five-time Balon D’Or winner after he averaged 30 league goals in the last two years for former club Juventus.
And according to The Sun, Solskjaer has told the current crop of United players that the signing of Ronaldo, 36, makes them favourites for the top-flight title this season.
The report also claims that the Norwegian thinks the only player who could have a similar impact to Ronaldo is new Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku, who rejoined the Blues in a £98million deal earlier this summer.
Solskjaer was part of Sir Alex Ferguson’s United that won the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup 22 years ago, with the former striker adopting the role of ‘super sub’ at Old Trafford.
That role was confirmed when he netted the winner in the 1999 Champions League final just minutes after Teddy Sheringham levelled the clash with Bayern Munich at 1-1 in Barcelona.
Solskjaer ended that campaign with 18 goals to his name but Ferguson’s squad also had Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole, who netted 29 and 24 goals respectively that season.
The news comes after reports claimed Ronaldo has already made clear his lofty ambitions at United upon his return to Old Trafford, with the Portuguese superstar telling team-mates he wants to win the title this season.
Ronaldo has vowed that ‘history will be written once more’, having won the Premier League, Champions League and Ballon d’Or during his first stint at the club.
Despite his advancing years, Ronaldo is expected to set the English top flight alight having been crowned Italy’s top scorer last season. He has taken his old No 7 shirt upon his return to Old Trafford, with Edinson Cavani giving up the jersey for the returning star.
Expectations of a strong season are high at United, although club legend and Ronaldo’s former team-mate Gary Neville still believes that the Red Devils will not win the league this season.
‘The big question every Manchester United fan, probably every fan in the Premier League, will be asking will be: is it [the new arrivals] enough for them to challenge for the title and win the title?’ he said.
'I don’t quite feel it is. I still feel there are a couple of teams that are better. The Premier League I think is the strongest it’s been since the mid-2000s.
‘I think it’s an unbelievably strong Premier League at this moment in time with great coaches, great teams, great players and that’s been strengthened by this transfer window.’