MANCHESTER UNITED boss Erik ten Hag could be forced into a squad reshuffle just a week into the season after it was revealed Cristiano Ronaldo plans to leave the club.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner, 37, made his request to club bosses earlier this week, asking to be sold if a satisfactory offer is made.
This could upset Ten Hag’s plans for next season as Ronaldo was expected to lead the line following Edinson Cavani’s departure.
Here, SunSport takes a look at how the Red Devils could line up if the Portuguese superstar moves on, while also considering possible summer signings.
Ten Hag’s preferred formation at Ajax was a 4-2-3-1 and given the talent United currently have in their ranks it wouldn’t be a surprise if he incorporated that from the start.
We exclusively revealed this weekend that Serge Gnabry has emerged as a top target for United.
The Germany winger has refused to commit his future to Bayern Munich and recently turned down a £200,000-a-week contract offer.
He has just one year left on his current contract so the Bundesliga giants are said to be open to selling him for a bargain price of £35million.
It won’t be an easy task, however, with rivals Manchester City and Arsenal also interested.
Ten Hag is also keen to strengthen himself on the other side of the pitch and wants Brazilian winger Antony to fill the role.
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Antony, 22, shone under the Dutchman’s stewardship at Ajax, winning two Eredivisie titles.
He can play on either side, but Ten Hag may choose to place him on the left as that is his preferred foot.
Bruno Fernandes is likely to keep his place in attacking midfield, while former underdog Donny van de Beek has been promised a place in the squad by his former Ajax coach.
He is likely to become partner of the club’s top transfer target Frenkie de Jong, who is expected to come from Barcelona.
Man Utd have already struck an initial £56m plus add-ons deal with the Spanish giants for De Jong but personal terms have not yet been agreed.
New boy Tyrell Malacia could step straight into the left-back position if he officially joins the club.
The Red Devils will make him their first summer deal in a £15m transfer from Feyenoord.
He is likely to start alongside Harry Magire, Raphael Varane and Diogo Dalot in defence, with David De Gea retaining his place in goal following the departure of Dean Henderson.
United are yet to make signing a new striker a priority, but in the meantime Swedish sensation Anthony Elanga could step into the position.
The 20-year-old broke into the first team last season and scored three goals in 23 Premier League games.
He also became Man Utd’s youngest-ever goalscorer in the Champions League knockout stages as he netted the crucial equalizer against Atletico Madrid.
In terms of alternatives, the Red Devils still have the opportunity to ensure quality in all areas of the pitch.
Jadon Sancho could step in at either end as a winger but Ten Hag could capitalize on the 22-year-old’s versatility by playing him in a more central attacking position.
Free agent Christian Eriksen has emerged as another transfer target so he could fit in well alongside Fernandes to provide another offensive outlet.
Ten Hag is also looking for a central defender who can significantly strengthen the defence.
A £39m bid for Lisandro Martinez has been submitted but the club face stiff competition from Arsenal for his signature.
The Argentine defender can also play at left-back, providing further support when Luke Shaw is unavailable.
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