Soccer

Man Utd have four stars on shortlist who could replace Ronaldo

Glazer family considering sale as Cristiano Ronaldo leaves Manchester United

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Manchester United will use the January transfer window to find a replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo. The iconic forward has left the club after having his contract terminated in the aftermath of his fiery interview with Piers Morgan. 

While Ronaldo had played for United as much as he might have liked this season, Erik ten Hag will surely want to fill the hole in his squad. Express Sport looks at some of the Red Devils’ options. 

Victor Osimhen

Napoli forward Victor Osimhen will be a key target for United either in January or the summer. They were open to signing the Nigerian before in the last transfer window had Ronaldo departed ahead of the 2022/23 campaign. 

Ronaldo did not leave Old Trafford then, and Osimhen remained at Napoli. The 23-year-old has since enjoyed a successful season in Italy, scoring 10 goals in 14 appearances across all competitions. 

A powerful, quick and clinical forward, Osimhen would offer United a different type of striker to ones they have had in recent years. He would fit seamlessly into Ten Hag’s system – although would come at a supreme cost to the Premier League side. 

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Cody Gakpo

United were also keen on signing Cody Gakpo from PSV in the summer. Ten Hag wanted the prolific forward alongside former Ajax star Antony, who eventually completed an £86m move. 

Having placed most of their effort into signing Antony, time ran out over a potential deal for the 23-year-old Gakpo. Southampton and Leeds both had enquiries rebuffed by PSV. 

Gakpo has gone on to register a remarkable 30 goal contributions in just 24 games this season. He has bagged 13 goals and assisted another 17. United are desperate for a player capable of producing those numbers. 

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Memphis Depay

Could former United flop Memphis Depay return to Old Trafford? The Dutchman – then a scrawny but technically gifted wide man – departed under Jose Mourinho having failed to make his mark at the club. 

But Depay has enjoyed a successful career since then and would return a far more experienced player. The 28-year-old is expected to be made available by Barcelona in January having made just two La Liga appearances this season. 

United could do far worse than re-sign their ex-player, who scored seven goals in 53 appearances during his initial spell in England. 

Tammy Abraham

Roma boss Jose Mourinho has insisted that former Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham will not be sold. But the lure of a return to the Premier League might be enticing, especially if the 24-year-old wants to be in the direct eyeline of England manager Gareth Southgate. 

Abraham was excellent in his debut season in Serie A, scoring 27 goals across all competitions. He has struck just three times this term, but remains a prolific option in front of goal. 

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