Manchester United have been reliant on Cristiano Ronaldo this season, admits interim manager Ralf Rangnick, however, he is still not sure if the veteran forward will be with the club next season.
Ronaldo rode to United's rescue again on Thursday, scoring the equaliser in their 1-1 draw with Chelsea to keep alive their Premier League top-four hopes.
There is uncertainty around Ronaldo amid the imminent change in the dugout at Old Trafford, and Rangnick cannot give firm assurances at this stage about the club's talisman.
What has Rangnick had to say about Ronaldo?
Asked by reporters after the match if United had become reliant on the 37-year-old, Rangnick indicated they did as he said: "We go through the list of names that are missing since the West Ham game. You realise, that we have all the offensive players on the pitch, the only one on the bench was Juan Mata."
Ronaldo is the only United player to hit double figures for goals this season, his 23 in all competitions more than double that of any other man in the squad. Bruno Fernandes is second with nine.
Rangnick, however, moved to defend his team, and said: "We have to be still fair with the players. We had quite a few other players scoring goals, I remember my first 10 games and we had 10 different goalscorers. It is how many opportunities can we create and how many goalscorers we have available.
"If you compare our players with the ones Chelsea had, the bench with the one Chelsea had. This is not an excuse but it is an explanation.
"Yes, right now, we very much rely on Cristiano, he also showed a good performance when Chelsea were in possession. There has to be a focus on bringing in a couple of new strikers for sure."
Will Ronaldo play for Man Utd under Ten Hag?
Rangnick is moving away from the manager's seat next season, switching to a consultancy role - which it appears he will now do alongside coaching the Austria men's national team.
He is being replaced as United manager by Erik ten Hag, leaving Ronaldo's status at the club more uncertain, and Rangnick refused to speculate on what the new man in charge will decide.
Rangnick said: "This is something that we should speak between Erik and the board and myself. Cristiano has another year of contract, it is also important to find out what he wants, if he wants to stay.
"Again, I haven't spoken to Erik so far so it doesn't make sense to speak about it right now."
What has Ronaldo had to say?
While uncertainty blows around him, Ronaldo on the pitch was United's hero again as his equaliser earned them an important point against Chelsea on Thursday as they chase Champions League qualification.
Ronaldo wrote on Instagram afterwards: "Thanks for the support in Old Trafford tonight. As always, our fans were amazing in their effort to help the team."