Ronaldo has told Real Madrid he wants to quit the Bernabeu this summer and has reportedly made Manchester United his preferred destination, eight years after originally leaving Old Trafford.
The Portuguese superstar was sold for a world record fee of £80million in 2009 and the Red Devils would have to smash that as well as the £89million they paid for Paul Pogba last summer if they want to land the 32-year-old.
Smith can see the sense in wanting Ronaldo, as he is the type of player manager Jose Mourinho is looking for.
“It is a difficult one because with (Zlatan) Ibrahimovic having left the club I think they want that signature signing, that iconic figure to come in in that Manchester United mould,” Smith said on Sky Sports.
“(Antoine) Griezmann they seemed to have lost interest in, they want a proper striker.
“Ronaldo is that now, over the last couple of years he has reinvented himself, does much more of his work in the box.”
Smith still is not certain Ronaldo will leave Real this summer but if he does, thinks United should be wary of the cost as his sell-on value would be considerably lower.
“He’s going to cost an awful lot of money, he’s 32-years-old, they’re going to have to pay him shed loads as a salary,” the former Arsenal striker added.
“You’ve got to weigh that up, they’re not going to get hardly anything back at the end of his contract.
“But he is one of the top two players in the world and United fans would be absolutely ecstatic to see him come in.
“I’m still not convinced though he’s going to leave Real Madrid. I think maybe this is a bit of a bargaining tool with the tax stuff in the background.
“I would guess he will still be at the Bernabeu come August.
“No, no (he’s not worth £175million), because there is no sell-on is there? He’s 32 years of age so I would say definitely not.”