Cristiano Ronaldo will depart Real Madrid imminently to Juventus with a legendary status firmly intact, but who will replace the club-record goalscorer in the Spanish capital?
With Ronaldo’s exit all but confirmed a new attacking talisman will need to be found swiftly by club president Florentino Perez.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has been an integral part of their treble of UEFA Champions League titles despite his advancing age.
After scoring more than 40 goals across all competitions in eight consecutive seasons, Ronaldo has firmly engraved his name into Los Blancos folklore as the club record goalscorer and the task of replacing him has already hit a snag.
The club publicly denied having made world-record bids for Neymar and Kylian Mbappe last week, with the suspected intention of maintaining a fruitful relationship with the French giants if they are to consider departing with their prized assets in future.
Given both players have only been at the Parc des Princes for one season each, it widely expected the Perez will now turn to Chelsea’s Eden Hazard or Tottenham’s Harry Kane – as they continue their trend of signing World Cup superstars.
“If I have a good World Cup then things will be easier,” Hazard said earlier this month.
“Real Madrid interest me, everybody knows that, and if they don’t love me then they won’t talk about it.
“If they want to buy me then they know what they have to do.”
His comments give the biggest indication that he may become the next Galactico.
And if one considers Marco Asensio and Gareth Bale still remain in their ranks – the pursuit of Mbappe and Neymar could be put on cold ice for the time being.