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14 Jul, 2022 15:04

Chelsea make Ronaldo decision

There had been speculation that the Portugal star could make a move to Stamford Bridge
Chelsea make Ronaldo decision

Chelsea have decided not to pursue a move for Cristiano Ronaldo after being offered the chance to sign the Portuguese star, who is seeking to secure an exit from Manchester United this summer. 

Speculation had linked Ronaldo to a potential switch to Stamford Bridge after it was reported that his agent, Jorge Mendes, had met with new Chelsea owner Todd Boehly in recent weeks.

Boehly is said to have been intrigued by the prospect of bringing in the five-time Ballon d’Or winner as an attention-grabbing signing in his first transfer window since taking over the club from Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich.

But Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel is said to have been far less keen on the idea, with particular doubts over how the 37-year-old would fit into his system.

Tuchel is believed to have had the final say and the Blues have dropped the idea from further consideration as things stand, it was reported by the likes of transfer guru Fabrizio Romano on Wednesday.

Instead, Chelsea are focused on strengthening other areas of the team, particularly a need for defensive reinforcements.

Boehly has already made winger Raheem Sterling the first major signing of his new era at the club, landing the England star for a fee approaching £50 million ($59 million) from Manchester City.

Napoli and Senegal center-back Kalidou Koulibaly is also said to be an imminent arrival for the London club. Elsewhere, Manchester City defender Nathan Ake is a possible target, as is Sevilla’s Jules Kounde.  

Speaking to the media on Chelsea’s US pre-season tour this week, Tuchel was tight-lipped on Ronaldo but made it clear that defensive signings were the priority after the loss of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen to Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively.

The reported snub from Chelsea follows claims of similar rejections for Ronaldo from Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich, both of whom are said to have declined the chance to sign the forward despite being offered his services.

Some have wondered aloud where this leaves the reputation of a player who still sees himself as among the elite in the game, and who managed 18 goals in 30 Premier League matches in a failing campaign for United last season. 

Ronaldo is said to have received a mammoth offer from an unnamed Saudi club worth $300 million across two years, although he is desperate to play for a team challenging for the Champions League title – a competition he has won five times.

The striker has not joined Manchester United on their pre-season tour, which has now taken the team to Australia after they hammered Premier League rivals Liverpool 4-0 in Thailand earlier this week.

Questioned about Ronaldo after arriving in Melbourne, United’s new Dutch manager Eric ten Hag again insisted that the star was not for sale.

“We made a statement [about Ronaldo not leaving] and nothing has changed,” Ten Hag said ahead of a friendly match against A-League team Melbourne Victory on Friday night local time. 

Ronaldo has one year remaining on his United contract after rejoining from Juventus last summer, but has been frustrated by the team’s inability to secure Champions League football after they slumped to a sixth-place finish in the Premier League last season.