Manchester City defender Ruben Dias has admitted Manchester United are a ‘strong candidate’ this season thanks to Cristiano Ronaldo’s return to the club.

Ronaldo made a sensational return to Old Trafford at the end of the summer transfer window, having elected to leave Juventus after three years at the club.

His return means Manchester United finally have the elite level striker they’ve long been looking for, filling a hole in the side that many believe has held them back in recent years.

It means they are now being talked about in a different light, particularly after they solved another issue in defence with the signing of Raphael Varane from Real Madrid.

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Indeed, for many, this is a make or break year for the club and particularly for manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who now has all the tools at his disposal to get Manchester United back to winning trophies.

Whether that happens remains to be see, but Manchester City’s Dias, who plays alongside Ronaldo for Portugal, certainly sees him making United stronger.

“Cristiano, year after year, continues to be at a high level,” the Manchester City defender told Sport TV, relayed by A Bola.

“He has come up big again. He returns to one of the most competitive leagues in the world and to one of the clubs with the most ambitions. It’s a big step for him.

“We won’t be predicting the future, but obviously United come out reinforced and become more and more a strong candidate.”