But none of that would have been possible if not for a timely intervention from Solskjaer.
The story goes that United were so impressed with Ronaldo during a friendly against Sporting that Sir Alex Ferguson snapped up the young winger there and then.
But ESPN have revealed that it was actually Solskjaer and Roy Keane that convinced the Scotsman to pull out the chequebook and sign him up.
The former Molde manager finds himself back at the club, though this time he is in the managerial dugout rather than on the pitch.
It means that the 43-year-old is the one tasked with rebuilding the squad.
A number of targets have been touted to arrive in a bid to rejuvenate a side that has badly failed this season, finishing sixth in the Premier League.
But with an eye for players such as Ronaldo, if Solskjaer can land a single player with half the talent the footballing marvel had then the Red Devils will be heading back to the top once again.
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