Grinning Thomas Tuchel answers Cristiano Ronaldo transfer question on pre-season tour

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel refused to rule out a transfer for Cristiano Ronaldo when asked the question by a fan in the US.

The Chelsea squad flew out to the US on Saturday following their first week of training. Tuchel’s international contingent will join up with the group in Los Angeles for a week-long training camp.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek and N’Golo Kante have not travelled due to their Covid-19 vaccination status.

Young striker Armando Broja won’t join the squad until next week amid talk of a move elsewhere. But before the Blues could get down to work one inquisitive fan asked Tuchel about signing Ronaldo.

Todd Boehly has held talks with Ronaldo’s trusted agent Jorge Mendes. While the 37-year-old has not gone on tour with United.

The club have stated that “family issues” have meant him missing the tour to Asia and Singapore. However, United’s stance is that the Portugal star is not for sale, with one year remaining on his contract.

Ronaldo is understood to want to leave United in pursuit of Champions League football. While, as per the Manchester Evening News he is understood to be “upset” that the squad has been forced to accept a 25 per cent reduction to their salaries.

Asked about a potential move for Ronaldo, Tuchel smirked and said: “I will not tell you.”

Chelsea’s Ronaldo risk

It was certainly not a point-blank refusal from the German coach.

The Blues’ new co-owner Boehly is reportedly keen to get a deal done for the veteran. But the Daily Mail claim Tuchel “has reservations about the effect he would have on a mobile and dynamic frontline”.

Tuchel has already given the green light for Romelu Lukaku to depart and Raheem Sterling is poised to join up for around £45m.

Bringing Ronaldo into a youthful squad with the likes of Mason Mount, Timo Werner Kai Havertz is a risk.

An update on Ronaldo’s future is due from Erik ten Hag in Bangkok on Monday.

Ten Hag will face the media at a press conference ahead of United’s pre-season friendly against Liverpool.