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Man United have already signed seven players dubbed ‘the next Cristiano Ronaldo’

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Not for the first time, Manchester United are being linked with another player dubbed ‘the next Cristiano Ronaldo’.

River Plate forward Julian Alvarez is the latest in a long line of stars to be compared to the Portugal international.

So, with that being the case, Idusport will now take a look at the seven players they’ve signed over the years likened to the 36-year-old.

Nani

Even when Ronaldo was at the club, United were linked with players of a similar calibre to the Portugal international.

And when they signed Nani from Sporting Lisbon, obvious comparisons were made.

Both are forwards, Portuguese, capable of sublime skill and scoring goals.

Nani really kicked on after Ronaldo’s move to Real Madrid in 2009, dazzling as the club won the Premier League title two years later and again in 2013.

Yet he never quite scaled the same heights as Ronaldo, leaving after Louis van Gaal took over from David Moyes.

Zoran Tosic

In January 2009, at a time where Ronaldo was being linked with a move away, in came Zoran Tosic.

Tosic would later claim he was being prepared to replace the Portugal forward, saying: “My first six months at the club were for me to prepare, to get stronger.

“And in the next six months it’s important to try and break into the team and prove that I’m a United player.

“To be honest, I think that probably Cristiano was the best player in the team and so someone will come in to take his place.”

Tosic was never able to and any hope he’d be the next Ronaldo died down within months of his arrival.

Gabriel Obertan

After Ronaldo left United in 2009, they knew they needed a winger.

So they turned to Gabriel Obertan, who had impressed for Bordeaux and Lorient over in France.

Yet after just 14 Premier League appearances, Obertan was sold to Newcastle United.

The 32-year-old is currently strutting his stuff for USL Championship side Charlotte Independence these days.

And comparisons with Ronaldo have long died down as a result.

Bebe

Ferguson always liked to watch a player before he signed them. That was his style, to ensure no stone was left unturned.

Yet he made an exception for Bebe, who joined the club back in the summer transfer window of 2010.

As a Portuguese forward, he found himself being compared to Ronaldo right from the start. It was clear, however, he was nowhere near the level of the club’s current No 7.

Bebe scored two goals from six matches at Old Trafford before finding a home for himself in Spain.

Currently playing for Rayo Vallecano, Bebe is looking to help them stay in La Liga this term.

Wilfried Zaha

Before his retirement in 2013, Ferguson clinched a deal for Wilfried Zaha.

Again, as a forward with pace, trickery and goals in his locker, many thought he’d be the ‘next Ronaldo’ the club were looking for.

Alas, they were mistaken.

Zaha was never really given a chance at Old Trafford, making just four appearances under Moyes.

He’d later say he suffered from depression in Manchester, accusing the club of not doing enough to help him settle.

Angel Di Maria

In 2014, United signed a player who had all the skills to be Ronaldo’s heir.

Angel Di Maria had shown he was world-class at Real Madrid, playing a vital role as Los Blancos won the Champions League.

And he rocked Manchester upon arriving, with a chip against Leicester a memorable moment.

Yet Di Maria never settled in the city, with a break-in at his family home impacting him both on and off the pitch.

He left after just a year, having failed to achieve consistency with Ronaldo’s old No 7 shirt on the back.

Memphis Depay

After Di Maria came Memphis Depay.

Having dazzled for PSV Eindhoven over in the Eredivisie, many thought he was the heir to Ronaldo the club had been looking for.

Alas, things didn’t work out.

Depay, like Di Maria before him, initially impressed. Yet he fell out with Van Gaal and never recovered, eventually being sold by Jose Mourinho.

Currently at Barcelona, the Dutchman is doing all he can to show he belongs at the highest level.

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Rio Ferdinand issues major warning about Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag

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Former centre-back Rio Ferdinand believes it is still too early to judge whether Erik ten Hag is the right man to lead Manchester United back to the top, despite their unquestionable improvement under him this season.

United head into tomorrow’s Manchester derby against City at Old Trafford with the knowledge that a win will lift them to within a point and place of their neighbours in the Premier League table.

The Reds have lost just one of their last 18 matches since being battered 6-3 by City back in October, featuring a current run of eight wins on the bounce.

The Reds, such is the level of progress they have made under Ten Hag this season, are now considered as one of the favourites to qualify for the Champions League for next season.

They have made significant strides in a relatively short space of time and victories over the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur already this season have proven that they are capable of competing in the upper echelons of the table again.

However, despite heading into the second half of the campaign with form in their sails, Ferdinand insists the jury is still out on Ten Hag, despite him reaching 20 wins as United manager quick than any of his predecessors.

“I think it’s too early to say,” said Ferdinand to the Mirror. “We’ve been here with previous managers when it looks like we are onto something.

“We’ve got to be patient and give the man time. I think all the signs are very positive at the moment. He’s come in and seen what is happening, assessed how things are, looked at individuals and looked at the shape of the team.

“These were a bunch of players that were quite low. They were shot to pieces and he’s had to build, not only footballers, but men back up again. He’s had to build a lot of human beings back up and that takes time.

“The fact he’s now talking about qualifying for the Champions League so positively, he can sense a confidence coming back into this team. There’s a consistency of performance from the team that wasn’t there before and the signals and signs are all very promising.

“But they’re still not where they want to be. City are way ahead of where United are. The distance is a bit closer, but it’s still not anywhere near where we want it to be. There’s still work to be done.”

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Manchester United takeover bids ‘expected imminently’ with serious interest in Club

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Manchester United are expecting takeover offers from across the world as they are set to invite bids ahead of ‘mid-February deadline’.

The Telegraph have reported that the club have received ‘serious interest’ from consortiums based in the Middle East, Asia and the United States.

British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe is also weighing up an offer, as the Glazers hope to the sell one of the biggest clubs in the world for over £5billion.

The report also adds that parties who had been interested in taking over Chelsea, before Todd Boehly’s £4.25bn takeover, are set to return with approaches for the Red Devils.

It’s expected that potential investors will go public with their attempts to buy United in the coming weeks with the clock ‘now ticking on a deal’.

Senior United figures will issue a mid February deadline for formal offers in order to help get get the takeover completed before the end of the season.

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Confirmed: Chelsea ready to make late bid to hijack another Arsenal transfer

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Chelsea will make a late attempt to scupper Arsenal’s hopes of finally signing Mikhailo Mudryk from Shakhtar Donetsk.

The Gunners have submitted their third bid for the Ukraine international winger and hope an offer of £62m before add-ons, which take the deal closer to £70m, will be enough to break the deadlock between the two clubs.

Chelsea’s interest in the 21-year-old winger was earlier this week described only as ‘exploratory’ but ESPN now claim that Todd Boehly will test the waters and attempt to throw a spanner in the works for the Premier League leaders.

Shakhtar’s technical director Darijo Srna was pictured at Stamford Bridge last week as he watched Chelsea’s defeat against Manchester City and Boehly would have little issue with meeting an asking price which is closer to £88million.

Arsenal are said to be confident that their latest bid for Mudryk will be enough to finally secure the services of their No.1 January target, but have already been beaten to the punch once this month by their west London rivals.

Chelsea won the race to sign Joao Felix on loan from Atletico Madrid amid competition from Arsenal and Manchester United, but the Portugal international’s promising debut ended in devastating fashion when he was sent off just shy of the hour mark for a dangerous challenge on Fulham’s Kenny Tete.

Felix will now miss the next three games through suspension as the problems mount for Chelsea’s under-fire manager Graham Potter.

‘It sums up where we are at the moment – everything that can go wrong, is going wrong,’ Potter said after Chelsea’s 2-1 west London derby defeat.

‘It was a forward’s tackle from Joao, there was no malice in it but I understand why it was a red. It is another blow the hits keep coming at the moment.

‘He was really good you could see his quality in the game so it is doubly disappointing for us because he was looking dangerous throughout.

‘I don’t think there was too much malice in it and it is an unfortunate action and we are going to lose him now for three games.’

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