Five players who could replace Ronaldo at Juventus

Martin Macdonald
Three reasons why Cristiano Ronaldo could move to PSG this summer

Cristiano Ronaldo is allegedly close to completing a sensational return to Manchester United from Juventus.

The Portuguese superstar has been linked with a transfer to Manchester City this week, but the Red Devils emerged as candidates for his signature on Friday afternoon after Juventus announced the player had asked to leave the Allianz Stadium.

Juventus are apparently happy to let Ronaldo leave as it would allow for his exorbitant wages to come off their salary bill, helping to ease the club's increasing debts.

Even if he cost plenty of money to keep, Ronaldo still banged in plenty of goals for Juventus in his three-year spell at the club, and the Bianconeri will need to find a way of replacing them.

Here are five players they could target.

Anthony Martial

Man Utd have been very aggressive in the transfer window with the signings of Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane and the potential arrival of Ronaldo.

Should the Portuguese arrive, he will join an attacking roster that includes Edinson Cavani, Bruno Fernandes, Sancho, Paul Pogba, Mason Greenwood, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial.

Off the back of a poor campaign last season, it seems almost certain that Martial will be asked to take a spot on the bench in place of Sancho or Ronaldo and as such the French forward would do well to draw a line under an inconsistent spell in Manchester and find a club that will put him front and centre of their attack.

He started United's second game of the season versus Southampton, but failed to impress.

Pierre-Americk Aubameyang

Little over a year ago, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had just, almost single-handedly, carried Arsenal to an FA Cup triumph and signed a new long-term contract as a result.

However, the Gabonese international had a disappointing last campaign, calling into question his commitment to the team and whether the contract would turn out to be a costly mistake.

Aubameyang’s Europa League attitude criticised: ‘He’s got to turn up’

Now, the 32-year-old could be set to leave the club as Arsenal look to offload their talisman, with Barcelona said to be interested in bringing him to Camp Nou, with Juventus also an option now.

Aubameyang's enormous wages could scupper any deal, though, while he also recently scored a hat-trick in the League Cup and looked content in an Arsenal shirt again.

Moise Kean

Juventus could decide to go with what they know in their search for a Ronaldo replacement as Everton striker Moise Kean could be targeted.

Kean was previously a youth player at Torino before making the switch to Juventus, where he would become the club's youngest ever debutant and the first player born in the 2000s to feature in one of Europe's top five leagues.

The Bianconeri made the surprising decision to allow the Italian striker to leave for Everton in 2019, while he would spend the 2020/21 campaign on loan at Paris Saint-Germain.

There are rumours that Juventus have a buy-back option for Kean, so this could present an ideal scenario.

Timo Werner

Chelsea spent big on a flurry of new stars last summer, with Timo Werner arriving from RB Leipzig after his £47.5 million release clause was triggered.

The criticism aimed at the German for his performances has sometimes been over the top, but there is no denying that he eventually became completely bereft of confidence in front of goal as the season progressed, missing plenty of golden opportunities.

Timo Werner has six goals in 31 Premier League games

Chelsea's top scorer in the league in 2020/21 was Jorginho, and so Thomas Tuchel requested the acquisition of a world-class number nine. They got one, too, as Romelu Lukaku completed a return to Stamford Bridge.

Werner will now compete for the two spots in behind Lukaku with Mason Mount, Kai Havertz, Christian Pulisic, Hakim Ziyech and Callum Hudson-Odoi.

Mauro Icardi

Paris Saint-Germain’s signing of Lionel Messi will undoubtedly push the Ligue 1 side to the top of many predictions for this season’s Champions League.

With Neymar and Kylian Mbappe alongside him, Messi and PSG offer just about more firepower than any other team in European football.

However, while fans in Paris may be celebrating the news, one player at the club that may be cursing his luck is Mauro Icardi.

The Argentina international was already on a shaky peg at PSG but now it seems as though he’ll be struggling for any game time at all this season.