Ever since Cristiano Ronaldo's controversial Champions League final interview, rumours have circulated that he's leaving Real Madrid.
After nine years at the club and numerous summers of speculation, perhaps 2018 was finally going to mark Ronaldo's departure from arguably the biggest club in world football.
One of the biggest problems, however, concerned whether a club would ever be able to sign Ronaldo but now Juventus have emerged as suitors.
With the reduction of his lucrative €1 billion release clause and the agreement of a €100 million deal, Ronaldo-Juventus jerseys are already being solid in Turin.
And in the words of Spanish football expert Guillem Balague: “In his head, Cristiano is a Juventus player.
Ronaldo close to Real exit
“Juve has found a financial way to pay for his wages and fee. Real Madrid willing to let him go."
That's all well and good but how on earth do Real Madrid go about replacing Ronaldo?
Of course, rumours across the past year have suggested that Florentino Perez wants Neymar at the club despite Paris Saint-Germain signing him just 12 months ago.
Real considering five replacements
It seems Los Blancos will struggle to sign the Brazilian this summer and for that very reason, the club has numerous big name players they are considering to replace Ronaldo.
According to Spanish publication Marca, Real are planning to decide between five players.
It will come as no surprise that Neymar finds his name on the list and Chelsea's Eden Hazard continues to interest the European champions.
Then there are the slightly more left-field choices of Robert Lewandowski, Kylian Mbappe and even Harry Kane.
However, it seems Real Madrid could face challenges with all five of their target and Hazard could actually be the easiest buy.
Mbappe rejected Real as recently as last summer, reports in Europe now suggest Lewandowski will stay with Bayern Munich and Los Blancos are wary of negotiations with Daniel Levy.
Nevertheless, fans can be certain that Real will go out of their way to ensure Ronaldo is suitably replaced.
Ronaldo's departure would wound the club both on and off the pitch.
Chelsea may need to buckle up and rectify their managerial situation to make sure the years of Hazard speculation doesn't creep up on them at last.
As for the others, although the chances look unlikely for Real, few clubs have the same pulling power as the European champions so don't write anything off.
It could be a very interesting summer at the Bernabeu indeed.
Who do you think would be the perfect Ronaldo replacement? Have your say in the comments section below.
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