Chelsea are mulling a bid for Cristiano Ronaldo after the forward informed Manchester United that he wants to leave the club this summer if a good deal comes in, according to reports.
Ronaldo is still under contract with United until 2023, and they continue to maintain that he is not for sale.
The 37-year-old, though, has made it obvious that he wants to go and did not show up for preseason practice on Monday as planned, claiming family obligations.
We reported last month that Ronaldo’s representative Jorge Mendes and the new Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly recently met, during which time one of the topics they discussed was Ronaldo’s potential transfer to Chelsea.
Conversations between the two are claimed to have continued afterwards, with Boehly and his fellow director Behdad Eghbali reportedly finding the idea of hiring such a well-known figure intriguing.
If the concept materializes, there will be many things for Chelsea to take into account – While money won’t likely be an issue, Thomas Tuchel’s wishes will be crucial.
Although the head coach has long admired Ronaldo, any decision to sign him would need Tuchel’s approval and a discussion about how the Portuguese international might fit into Chelsea’s system and style.
Uncertainty exists around whether United’s position will change and, if so, if they will still be prepared to work with a direct opponent.
The Stamford Bridge leadership, though, has not ruled out the possibility and is reportedly keeping an eye on the situation.
What will Cristiano Ronaldo bring to Chelsea?
Ronaldo only recently returned to United in a spectacular transfer from Juventus 11 months ago.
He led the Red Devils with 24 goals in all competitions, but some analysts contend that by creating an unbalanced side, he actually made the squad poorer.
If the club gets a good offer for his services, the club is expected to let him go. He doesn’t want to participate in the Europa League and has expressed dissatisfaction with Erik ten Hag’s summer transfer activities thus far.
In the summer of 2021, Manchester United paid Juventus €15 million ($17.8m / £12.9m) for the 37-year-old player, plus €8 million ($10 million) in add-ons.
The club made it clear in June that it had no intention of letting him go, so it’s unclear what it may take to entice him away from United.
Chelsea, which won the 2021 Champions League, finished third in the Premier League in 2021–2022 and earned a spot in the UEFA Champions League as a result.
After signing Romelu Lukaku from Inter Milan last summer, the Blues struggled to score goals and has to loan him back to the Italian club. Hence, Chelsea need a center forward who could consistently score goals.
SSC Napoli, that finished third in Serie A last year and will play in the Champions League again, is the newest side to be associated with Ronaldo.
“Napoli among bidders” is how The reports described the competition to sign Ronaldo. The Partenopei would have a significant vacancy at forward if they decide to sell the skilled and sought-after Victor Osimhen.