Manchester United are expected to turn to Cody Gakpo to relieve their striker problem, after he shone during Netherlands’ World Cup campaign.
The Portugal star’s explosive interview, which was first teased just hours after their final game before breaking for the World Cup, made it impossible for the partnership between club and player to go on.
Having been knocked out of the tournament at the quarter-final stages, Ronaldo is now without a club, and reportedly having issues with his agent, as he tries to find a new home.
But he isn’t the only one with an issue following the departure from Old Trafford, Erik ten Hag now needs to find someone to replace the 37-year-old.
Ronaldo may not have started much at the beginning of the campaign but with him gone, Marcus Rashford and injury prone Anthony Martial have become the only choices to play upfront.
Having already been linked with PSV star Gakpo in the summer, United are now reportedly interested in trying to sign him in January.
The Netherlands forward scored three times, as Louis van Gaal’s side were also knocked out in the last eight, and, according to talkSPORT, PSV could be willing to listen to offers of around €45 million.
Gakpo celebrates scoring against Qatar. Image: AlamyGakpo isn’t necessarily an out-and-out striker, and has often been used either out wide or even in the number 10 role by Van Gaal.
He actually only had three shots during the tournament, giving him a 100% strike rate, pretty impressive for someone who isn’t a striker.
The ability to switch positions might be something that Ten Hag wants from his forwards, considering how often he has switched the likes of Rashford, Martial, Antony and Alejandro Garnacho in recent times.
United will be looking to push on and try and finish in the top four this season, with their form having improved but still being quite patchy.
United needed a late goal from Garnacho to beat Fulham in their final game before the World Cup break. Image: AlamyWhen asked recently about signing a new forward, to replace Ronaldo, the manager said, “Yes but only when we find the right player.
“We do everything in our power. We are doing research on every opportunity and we do everything we can if that opportunity is there to sign them.”
The Red Devils will be able to field two World Cup winning centre backs, once they return from their post tournament break, with Lisandro Martinez having won with Argentina, meaning he can play alongside Raphael Varane, who lost this time but won four years ago.
United return to action on Wednesday night against Burnley, in the Carabao Cup, before facing Nottingham Forest in the Premier League on Boxing day.