Manchester United announced in late November that they had mutually agreed to terminate the contract of Cristiano Ronaldo. Now attention is fully focused on who will replace him at Old Trafford.
Ronaldo’s future at the club was always in doubt after his unsanctioned interview with Piers Morgan where he criticized the structure, Glazer family, Erik ten Hag and more.
He had wanted to leave the club all summer and the agreement was finally reached last month, with the player now free to join any club he wishes from here on.
READ: Ronaldo pushing for shock Real Madrid return
Now, United are on the hunt for a replacement during the January transfer window, so who could they sign to succeed the Portuguese star?
Who will replace Ronaldo at Man Utd?
Not surprisingly for a club with deep pockets like Man Utd, a string of possible Cristiano Ronaldo replacements have been mooted:
Cody Gakpo (PSV)
We now know that it will not be Gakpo, barring some kind of disaster befalling his proposed move to Liverpool (the Reds agreed a fee with PSV on Monday evening). Cross the Dutch World Cup star off the list.
Victor Osimhen (Napoli)
Osimhen has been linked with a move and is liked by Ten Hag, but a move for him may only be possible in the summer given the price and Napoli’s resistance.
READ: Cristiano Ronaldo: Every major club’s transfer stance
Benjamin Sesko (Red Bull Salzburg)
Ten Hag has also admired RB Leipzig’s Benjamin Sesko, who is on loan at Austria’s Red Bull Salzburg having seen him shine with them last season.
He is young and fits the profile of what Ten Hag would want but he may not come in cheap and given his relative lack of big-game experience, it may be a gamble
Cristiano Ronaldo is to leave Manchester United by mutual agreement, with immediate effect.
The club thanks him for his immense contribution across two spells at Old Trafford.#MUFC
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) November 22, 2022
Brian Brobbey (Ajax)
Ten Hag also wanted to sign Brian Brobbey, his former Ajax forward, in the summer but a move didn’t work out as he ended up returning to the Dutch champions instead.
The manager may go back in for him and given the good relationship they shared and the possibility to improve him, Brobbey may be tempted.
Other potential Man Utd striker targets
There have been other players linked as well, such as Brentford’s Ivan Toney and Lille’s Jonathan David, but a transfer is not looking too likely for either.