Michael Owen and Dimitar Berbatov are struggling to find form, leaving Wayne Rooney
to shoulder the burden of expectancy in front of goal.
But having banked £80 million for Ronaldo, and with the £25m set aside for Tevez still in United's bank account, Sir Alex Ferguson has the funds in place to make a late move into the transfer market.
So who can he get and how much will they cost?
Sergio Aguero, £50m:
Prolific Argentine has plenty of pace and his signing would be a major coup, but Atletico Madrid will put up a fight to keep him. But after their experiences with Gabriel Heinze and Carlos Tevez, do United want another Argentine? Especially one who is dating Diego Maradona's daughter.
After playing in the 3-2 defeat of Panathinaikos in Atletico's Champions League qualifier Aguero reiterated his desire to remain at the Vicente Calderón.
Jermain Defoe, £25m:
Tottenham Hotspur forward has scored five goals in a week for club and country. He would bring pace and an eye for goal, but Harry Redknapp would be loath to lose him. United have been interested in Defoe before, however, and money talks.
David Villa, £45m:
Valencia have so far managed to hold onto their prize asset, but the Spain international is arguably the best available option for United. However, Villa has shown little interest in moving to the Premier League and Ferguson will not want another player who only dreams of Real Madrid.
Luca Toni, £8m:
Italian finished as Bayern Munich's top goalscorer in his two seasons in the Bundesliga and would offer a strong physical presence upfront. But at 32, he hardly rates as one for the future.
Ruud van Nistelrooy, £1.5m:
If the clock is ticking towards midnight on transfer deadline and Ferguson is desperately searching for a proven goalscorer, then Real Madrid's Van Nistelrooy is available. Highly unlikely, but then nobody expected him to sign Owen.