Cristiano Ronaldo promised Patrice Evra that he will return to Manchester United one day. But that does not look possible in the current transfer window, so who could fill his boots in the future?
It is one of the most talked about scenarios almost every summer – will Ronaldo return to United?
The Portugal international has special history with the club, winning his first Champions League, Ballon d’Or and league title while at Old Trafford.
He has a special bond with Sir Alex Ferguson, who while is no longer in charge remains a key factor for many players deciding on whether to join or not.
Ronaldo has since been at Real Madrid and Juventus where his talent and tenacity has made him arguably the best player of all time.
United fans would love to see him back at the club but, financially, it just does not seem viable while Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is looking to the next generation instead.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner even told Evra that he would return, according to the Frenchman himself when earlier this year he appeared on the Utd Podcast.
He said: “[Ferguson] said, ‘My target is I’m 99 per cent sure we will have Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale.
“I just need these two players to win the Champions League again. Ninety-nine per cent.’
“And to be fair, when I speak with Cristiano, I ask him and he said yes to the boss, and was coming to join United. He told me this.”
Ronaldo’s attributes made him a fan favourites but who else could fulfil the same duties?
The playmaker is quickly becoming an Old Trafford hero, if he isn’t already, due to his incredible acts in front of goal during his time at the club.
The parallels are all there, arrived from Sporting Lisbon, Portuguese, fan favourite and a penchant for the spellbindingly beautiful.
Hopefully, for United’s sake, they will keep hold of this one a lot longer than they did with Ronaldo – who left at the age of 24.
There are high hopes for the youngster since his £20m move from Atalanta, despite interest in him going out on loan this summer.
But Solskjaer is thinking about the long-term with Amad and there are indications that he could become a major success at Old Trafford.
The pace, the trickery and, potentially, the goals are all there to see – it is up to the player and the coaches to coax him into becoming a superstar.
Nothing would make United fans happier than seeing the heir to Ronaldo graduate from their own academy at Carrington.
And the potential that Shoretire has shown is there for all to see with Solskjaer included among the coaches who have been stunned by the youngster.
Now 17, the teenager made his debut last season and the forward is desperate to make a name for himself at the club – so who knows what the future holds.