Gary Neville has warned Manchester United over the ramifications of an exit for Cristiano Ronaldo, expressing his fears the club could finish in the bottom half of the table.
United's start to life under Erik ten Hag has been woeful, losing back-to-back matches against Brighton and Hove Albion and Brentford to sit at the foot of the Premier League.
Pressure is already mounting on Ten Hag, who faces a stern test on Monday against Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool, and the final weeks of the transfer window could be decisive.
United have been linked with a host of players, but the biggest story continues to be the future of Ronaldo, who is widely reported to be pushing for an exit due to his desire to play Champions League football.
Reports on Tuesday suggest United's stance has changed, with the club now said to be willing to listen to offers for the 37-year-old, but Neville is fearful of the impact his departure could have.
"I think there's a massive decision they have to make on Cristiano Ronaldo and they're damned if they do, damned if they don't," he said on Sky Sports' Monday Night Football.
"A few weeks ago before the season started, these two results, [the] best thing to do was facilitate a move out the club for Cristiano because he's obviously not happy and the club aren't happy with him.
"The problem they have now is if they lose him, there's nothing left in terms of the goalscoring part of the pitch and I genuinely think if they don't bring players in or if they bring in poor players in and he leaves, I genuinely think they can finish in the bottom half of the table.
"That's a bottom half of the table team, that's a massive statement."
Suitors for Ronaldo appear to be few and far between, with Italian giants Inter and Milan said to have rebuffed a potential move, while fans of Atletico Madrid have made their feelings against a transfer clear.