Manchester United are at risk of losing Cristiano Ronaldo in the summer. That’s when the Portugal international will decide his future and, with the club’s campaign going from bad to worse, there’s no indication he’ll stay at Old Trafford. Express Sport now takes a look at four players the board may pursue if the 37-year-old does end up departing for a second time.
Fresh reports have emerged over the weekend suggesting United are eyeing Alexander Isak.
The Real Sociedad striker was linked with a move to Arsenal in the January transfer window but, ultimately, stayed in Spain.
Chelsea are also admirers of the Sweden international, who has rebuilt his career at Sociedad after previously struggling at Borussia Dortmund.
Yet if United lose Ronaldo, their need will arguably be greater.
So it’s possible they’ll chase Isak at the end of the campaign, though he’ll likely cost in the region of £60million.
There have been some claims that United have abandoned their interest in Erling Haaland.
Yet the Red Devils have been tight-lipped on that and it’s possible they’ll still try and pursue the Norway international in the summer.
Due to a clause in his contract, Haaland will cost around £66m. That makes him a bargain given his talent and potential to get even better.
It’s been mooted that Real Madrid have abandoned their interest in the 21-year-old.
And that would work in United’s favour, though Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester City and Barcelona are also admirers.
Joao Felix was linked with a blockbuster move to United in 2019.
However, the young Portugal international ended up moving to Atletico Madrid instead.
Felix’s time at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium hasn’t lived up to expectations but, in a different environment, the former Benfica star has the potential to come good.
Atleti would likely demand big money to let their young forward go.
But United, as one of the richest clubs on the planet, certainly have the financial might required to strike a deal.
Now wouldn’t this be a surprise?
Timo Werner has struggled for consistency at Chelsea and his brief cameo against Plymouth Argyle showed his confidence is zapped.
When United appointed Ralf Rangnick as their interim boss, rumours emerged suggesting Werner would be a transfer target for the 63-year-old.
And with Rangnick poised to move upstairs, it’s possible United will try and strike a deal.
They have a good relationship with Chelsea, having signed Juan Mata and Nemanja Matic from their Premier League rivals in recent years.
What’s happening with Ronaldo?
Ronaldo is contracted to United until the summer of 2023, having signed a two-year deal upon returning from Juventus in the summer.
But with the club potentially missing out on the Champions League, he won’t want to hang around to play in the Europa League.
Ronaldo has never graced that competition and he won’t want to at the age of 37. It will be seen as a stain on his record.
United, therefore, do have fears he’ll quit.
Richard Arnold is due to talk to Ronaldo about his future but the final decision will come in the summer, when the club’s situation is clearer.