We’re left in limbo whilst Ronaldo holidays with his bird who has the body of a goddess, not knowing whether he will be in Manchester or Madrid next season.

Whilst there’s every possibility of United sticking to their guns and fending off Real Madrid for at least another season, as we did after a similar situation played out in 2006, it wouldn’t be unwise to start weighing up our possibilities for replacing him.

Former United coach, Eric Harrison, has said that the only player who can replace Ronaldo is Messi. Is he right?

I personally am not worried about the idea of replacing Ronaldo. There are some players who you just can’t replace like for like. I can’t see how we could purchase anyone who will score 42 goals in 48 games next season. But does that mean we need to panic?

The question of replacing players is one which has arisen time and again. Eric Cantona is the most special player we’ve had at United in the past 20 years. No one replaced him. Nobody could have foreseen that spotty teenager from Portugal replacing David Beckham. Roy Keane’s presence was irreplaceable. We never bought a replacement for Ruud van Nistelrooy. When Paul Ince, Mark Hughes and Andrei Kanchelskis left in 1995, our only replacements were a load of lads from the youth team.

However, Harrison believes that Argentinian Lionel Messi is the man for the job.

“Bryan Robson, Ince, Kanchelskis and Hughes were all great players,” he said. “But Ronaldo will be harder to replace because there is no one in the juniors to do it. Back then we had the golden generation. We were always confident they would eventually play in the first team, it was a matter of when. Ronaldo is probably the best player in the world at the moment. If you were twisting my arm, I’d say the only guy who can replace him is Messi and there are no guarantees that Barcelona will be willing to sell him. That means it might be a more difficult situation.”

The 21-year-old has an impressive list of personal honours, most recently being named the second best player in the World.

Just imagine Barcelona were to accept a bid from us, would you be interested in forking out a fortune to secure the youngster, running the risk he might flop?





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