‘Can’t just walk out’ – Rio Ferdinand warns Man Utd they will be short of goals if Cristiano Ronaldo seals transfer exit

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RIO FERDINAND fears Manchester United will be well short on goals if Cristiano Ronaldo is sold.

The wantaway Portugal superstar, 37, is desperate to quit Old Trafford and play in the Champions League this season.

A year on from his sensational return to Man United, Cristiano Ronaldo is once again dominating conversation in the lead up to the season

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A year on from his sensational return to Man United, Cristiano Ronaldo is once again dominating conversation in the lead up to the seasonCredit: Rex
The former United defender answered the big questions hanging over the United squad

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The former United defender answered the big questions hanging over the United squadCredit: PA

United insist Ronaldo, who has a year left on his contract, is not for sale ahead of Sunday’s Premier League opener at home to Brighton.

And Red Devils legend Ferdinand believes his ex-club would not be able to replace last season’s top goalscorer with 24 in all competitions in the transfer market.

When asked if Ronaldo will stay, Ferdinand said: “Yes, he stays. Man United can’t afford to let him go. That’s the problem. 

“Where do Man United find 20 goals now in the transfer market? If they go into the window, who are they going to buy?

“The only reason why Man United don’t let Cristiano Ronaldo go now is because there will be a void of 20-plus goals in the team.

“You can’t just let that walk out of the door with no reinforcements put back in the place.

“[Anthony] Martial is coming back but he still has a lot to prove. He was let out to Sevilla last year. 

“I hope he does come back and fly. We’re in pre-season and he looks good and the front line is looking very lively. But let’s get back in the season when the pressure is on. I want to see the same.”

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United finished sixth in the Prem last season and scored just 57 goals in 38 league games.

Marcus Rashford netted only four times in the top-flight, five in all comps, in a below-par campaign.

But Ferdinand, who won six Prem titles and the Champions League at Old Trafford, reckons new Red Devils boss Erik ten Hag can get the best out of the England forward.

Ferdinand, 43, told the Five podcast: “Marcus, shut everyone up. You have had a pre-season, no injuries now, blast up the Premier League please.

“Last season his body language was affecting me. He didn’t look happy. I spoke to him about it. Even if you aren’t happy you have to go on the pitch and act. That’s what players do.

“Sometimes I wasn’t happy with certain things behind the scenes but you wouldn’t know that with the way I played. Marcus, for whatever reason, allowed that to creep into his performances.

“This season he will be happier. He’s had a pre-season, no injuries and from what I have seen him talk about, he has a manager that he believes in what he is saying.

“If all three of those things play out this season, Marcus Rashford will come good.”

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