Premier League • England

Door open on Cristiano Ronaldo’s transfer to Chelsea, but two sticking points emerge

Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal June 2022

Chelsea have not ruled out the prospect of signing Cristiano Ronaldo although Thomas Tuchel will reportedly have to rubber-stamp any deal.

Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly and director Behdad Eghbali are reported to be “intrigued” at the prospect of signing such an iconic figure. The 37-year-old scored 24 goals in 38 games for Manchester United last season and new boss Erik ten Hag wants the striker to stay.

But the Portugal star’s future took a twist over the weekend when a report revealed Ronaldo is looking at an exit.

The veteran is believed to be desperate to play in the Champions League again. And he is understood to be underwhelmed at United’s recruitment, which has yet to get underway.

Chelsea were mentioned as suitors for Ronaldo last month. The player’s agent Jorge Mendes held talk with Boehly.

And those negotiations have “since continued,” according to The Athletic. David Ornstein states that Boehly and Co have not written off a move and are open to a deal for Ronaldo.

Boehly will seek the opinion of boss Thomas Tuchel over any potential deal.

The report claims Tuchel “is a long-term admirer of Ronaldo” and Chelsea’s new owners would seek the German’s approval.

Financially Chelsea will be able to put the framework of the deal in place. Romelu Lukaku, Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen’s departures has eased the Stamford Bridge wage bill.

As well as Tuchel’s need to give the deal the green light, whether Manchester United will sell to a rival remains another sticking point.

Serie A options for Ronaldo

The Old Trafford club’s stance is still that Ronaldo, who was absent from pre-season training on Monday, is not for sale.

The club accepted Ronaldo’s explanation of “family reasons” as to why he missed the return to Carrington. And the date for his return remains unclear.

But if Mendes does push for a transfer then United will not have much option but to agree to a sale. Selling to a direct Premier League rival will not likely go down well at Old Trafford though.

Napoli and Roma have also been mentioned as suitors. But both Serie A clubs will struggle with the finances of any deal.

Chelsea are said to be “monitoring the situation” with Ronaldo understood to be prepared to take a pay cut.

The Independent say that a return to Europe’s top table is paramount for the player. And his preferred options are Chelsea and Bayern Munich, according to the paper.

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