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4 Players Manchester United should build around with when Cristiano Ronaldo leaves

Manchester United, Cristiano Ronaldo, Joao Felix, Erling Haaland

Cristiano Ronaldo may not be leaving soon but Manchester United has got to find the next focal point of the team’s offense.

Some Manchester United fans were shocked when news broke that Cristiano Ronaldo has offered himself to join La Liga side Barcelona, the former club of his eternal rival Lionel Messi. Fortunately, a report later revealed that it was just a “prank.”

Nonetheless, with Ronaldo turning 37 this year, the Red Devils should probably start searching for the next player to build a team around.

The January transfer window is now open and Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick had made it clear early on about what kind of player he is looking for in the market.

“My opinion on winter [January] transfers is clear: it needs to be a player who would improve the quality and help the team to get better,” Rangnick divulged via Manchester Evening News. “So it needs to be a high-quality player no matter which area of the pitch.”

“He also needs to have the right mentality, not just the right quality,” the manager added. “For this competitive league, we need the best possible mentality. He needs to be mature enough, he needs to have a winning mentality. For me, the mentality is more crucial in this league than any other in the world.

“If you pay big money for a 30-year-old and he’s still good enough to make you successful, I don’t mind that,” he explained via The Guardian.

“But you have to be aware the money is only being invested in the potential success over the next two or three years and you won’t get any return. I think it always makes more sense to sign a player at 21 or 22 and if you have to pay a big fee, you have the chance to develop him into a player who is worth even more,” he continued.

With that in mind, an array of possible Ronaldo successors could tick the boxes.

Erling Haaland

Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland can basically offer what Ronaldo is giving Manchester United at the moment–scoring goals. This season alone, the Norwegian has already bagged a total of 16 goals in 14 matches across all competition for the Bundesliga side.

The rumored interest of the Red Devils in Haaland has constantly been a hot subject every transfer window and it’s no different this time. If the club will choose a youngster to take the lead role in future, Haaland is definitely up there in the list of top candidates.

Manchester United, however, should come up with a persuasive offer as Borussia Dortmund is not willing to give the prolific striker up anytime soon.

“Maybe we can still convince him. “We will fight for him. We will try everything. The decision has not yet been made, but I would bet €100 million ($112 million) [on him staying],” Borussia Dortmund head of first-team football Sebastian Kehl said.

Harry Kane

Though Harry Kane is no longer a youngster, the truth is that he is still arguably the best striker in English football at present. This man needs no further introduction and only few would disagree if Manchester United will appoint him as Ronaldo’s replacement.

Aside from the nose for goals, Manchester United will benefit Kane’s thirst for a title, having been trophyless since becoming Tottenham Hotspur’s talisman.

However, signing a player like Kane is no walk in the park as a host of fellow big-name clubs are also reportedly tracking the England captain.

Joao Felix

Dubbed as “New Cristiano Ronaldo” or “Next Cristiano Ronaldo,” Joao Felix is a player with a bright future ahead of him. After helping Atletico Madrid win the La Liga title this past season, Felix became one of the most celebrated names in Spanish football and a subject of transfer rumors as well.

Manchester United is reportedly considering a move for Felix and if is to be true, the Red Devils could be looking at having another Ronaldo type of player who could be the face of Old Trafford for the next several years.

Jadon Sancho

Should Manchester United decide not to bring in a legendary player or a highly-touted youngster to replace Ronaldo as the team’s talisman, Jadon Sancho is the best guy for the job.

Before Ronaldo made a stunning to return to Manchester United, the club was crazy over Sancho. Unfortunately, the England winger did not get to shine in his maiden season with the Red Devils as Ronaldo instantly become the main focus of the club’s attack.

Slowly but surely, Sancho is beginning to make an impact in Manchester United under the tutelage of Rangnick.