5 attacking options to replace Cristiano Ronaldo at Real Madrid
The rumours about Cristiano Ronaldo finally ending his 10-year stint with Real Madrid has refused to go away. Online media are awash with stories that all have one common thread; this time, the move looks like it might actually happen.
A €100m deal looks to be on the cards for the five-time Ballon d'Or winner to joint Juventus in Serie A. Ronaldo's potential exit will leave a giant hole in Real's attack. The Portuguese superstar has been responsible for a lot of Los Blancos' goals, especially over the last four seasons.
New manager Julen Lopetegui and club supremo Florentino Perez will be well aware of this. It is expected that the 13-time UEFA Champions League winners will be active in the transfer market in a way it hasn't done in a while.
Former targets Kylian Mbappe, Neymar, Mo Salah and Harry Kane have all recently moved to new clubs or signed new long-term deals.
Any move for this players would most likely require Real to break the transfer record, an undesirable scenario for even one of the world's wealthiest clubs.
Here is a look at five potential attacking targets that might be worth a look at:
#5 Inaki Williams (Athletic Bilbao)
In terms of youngsters who share similar attributes with CR7, the 23-year-old Spanish international will be top of the list.
Pacy, strong, intelligent and able to play anywhere across the front line, Williams will bring a directness if he is purchased. With Gareth Bale's long-term fitness and stay at the Santiago Bernabeu, a player like the Bilbao-born youngster would provide a good option.
Still growing and finding his feet, Williams can be very inconsistent but in Lopetegui, he will have the perfect manager to help him fulfill his potential. Having recently signed a contract extension, his buyout clause is said to be about €70m.
While expensive, the nature of transfers in Spain means it will be a straightforward transfer if the powers-that-be at Real Madrid see him as a worthwhile investment.