Manchester United have already begun their search for a Cristiano Ronaldo replacement as they prepare for a January transfer.
That is according to journalist Florian Plettenberg, who earlier tweeted:
“News #Ronaldo: Within the club they expect him to leave #MUFC in winter.
“Bosses want to strengthen Ten Hag & want to ensure tranquillity. The search for successors is already underway (Choupo-Moting and others).
“A return to #SportingCP should be an option.”
X News #Ronaldo: Within the club they expect him to leave #MUFC in winter. Bosses want to strengthen Ten Hag & want to ensure tranquillity. The search for successors is already underway (Choupo-Moting and others). A return to #SportingCP should be an option. @SkySportDE 🇵🇹
— Florian Plettenberg (@Plettigoal) November 8, 2022
The reliable reporter’s claim that the club are awaiting Ronaldo’s departure in the winter comes in contrast to Erik ten Hag’s repeated insistence that the striker will remain a part of his plans this season.
However the legendary goalscorer’s form has been nothing short of woeful this season.
Issues over his fitness have been mooted as a possible excuse, with Ronaldo having missed preseason as he sought a move away from Old Trafford.
But this deep into the season, Ronaldo has managed just one Premier League goal in 520 minutes – a clear indication that it just isn’t working out for the Portugal star under Ten Hag.
His outbursts and storm-outs have also underlined his fractious situation and, as Plettenberg suggests, his leaving could be good for “tranquillity” at United.
The mention of Eric Choupo-Moting is unlikely to thrill fans despite the Bayern Munich hitman’s sensational form this season.
He has scored five goals in his last four outings and has a wealth of experience around Europe.
At 33 years of age, the Cameroon international would be a stopgap in line with United’s recent history, with the likes of Edinson Cavani, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and Odion Ighalo all signed without much of a long-term plan in mind.
But United are likely to find it difficult to pursue a younger, more sustainable target in January, given their struggles to complete deals in the winter window.
If the right player became available, however, United could perhaps conduct some of their summer business early, as they did with Bruno Fernandes back in 2020.
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