Cristiano Ronaldo could force Manchester United into making three new signings

Cristiano Ronaldo’s first goal on Man Utd return in pictures

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Cristiano Ronaldo hasn’t disappointed since returning to Manchester United, scoring 13 goals across all competitions from 18 appearances. Yet while the Portugal international’s form on the field has been a major positive, speculation has arisen suggesting Edinson Cavani, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial are far from happy. Should the trio leave because of the Portugal international, that would leave the Glazers having to make as many as three signings in the foreseeable future.

Ronaldo looked set to do the unthinkable by joining Manchester City with just days of the summer transfer window remaining.

Pep Guardiola was keen to sign the 36-year-old having been priced out of a deal for Harry Kane by Tottenham supremo Daniel Levy.

Yet, in the end, United won the race for the veteran – with Sir Alex Ferguson, Bruno Fernandes, Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra helping to convince him into a blockbuster Old Trafford return.

With 13 goals, Ronaldo has been a major positive amid a rocky campaign so far.

But while his impact on the field has been good, it seems some of his team-mates are far from happy behind the scenes.

Cavani is contemplating whether to leave the club in January having struggled for action this term.

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Even when fully fit, the 34-year-old has often been stuck on the bench forced to watch Ronaldo steal the show from the sidelines.

Barcelona are keen to land him as a replacement for Sergio Aguero, who has now retired in the wake of being diagnosed with a heart condition.

And there are clubs in South America, namely Corinthians and Boca Juniors, who would love to snap him up as well.

Cavani signed a new contract with United in May last year because he thought he’d the team’s main striker.

Yet Ronaldo’s move back to the Premier League has seen the situation change and it’s feasible the former Napoli and Paris Saint-Germain star will depart for pastures new.

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Surprisingly, Catalan newspaper Mundo Deportivo claimed this week that Rashford was another player in Barcelona’s sights.

It’s been a difficult campaign for the England star, who still appears to suffering having only returned from shoulder surgery mere months ago.

Rashford has gone eight games without a goal and, with Ronaldo a rigid presence up top, has been unable to strike up a connection with the No 7.

Martial’s agent, meanwhile, recently went public when admitting the France international was keen to leave the club for more game time.

The ex-Monaco hitman has been restricted to just 10 appearances across all competitions.

And, like Cavani, even when he’s fully fit he’s often found himself watching on – rather than taking part in matches.

Now, should the trio all leave, United could have to make as many as three signings in the transfer windows ahead.

Cavani is the likeliest to leave in January, though the Red Devils may then hold fire until the summer when it comes to a replacement when strikers are easier to sign.

But if Rashford and Martial also depart, the Glazers may find themselves having to make multiple significant investments.

United have, in recent weeks, been linked with numerous forwards.

Fiorentina hitman Dusan Vlahovic is one potential option to replace any of their current crop of forwards, even if Arsenal and Tottenham appear to be frontrunners in the race for his signature.

United continue to keep tabs on Erling Haaland, despite the complexity of any transfer deal for the Borussia Dortmund star.

And they’ve also been mooted as potential suitors for Joao Felix, who has disappointed at Atletico Madrid since arriving in 2019.

United want Cavani and Rashford, specifically, to stay.

But the pair are toiling with Ronaldo leading the line and it’s possible they won’t hang around to dance to the 36-year-old’s tune.

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