Chelsea have been told that Manchester United striker Cristiano Ronaldo could be ready to join them, but the club have yet to decide whether to make a formal offer, sources told ESPN.
Ronaldo has informed United of his desire to leave Old Trafford to pursue Champions League football, but there are few realistic options for the 37-year-old, who earns around £500,000 a week.
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Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain have been considered as possible targets and sources have told ESPN that contact has been made between Ronaldo’s representative Jorge Mendes and new Chelsea chairman Todd Boehly.
Boehly, who also acts as interim sporting director following the departures of Marina Granovskaia and Petr Cech, is said to be drawn to the idea of signing a figure as iconic as Ronaldo even at this late stage in his career.
However, sources have told ESPN that some at the club doubt head coach Thomas Tuchel is convinced of the idea as he has concrete plans to reshape his forward line.
Striker Romelu Lukaku was loaned out to Inter Milan just a year after Chelsea paid €115m for him because he couldn’t press effectively and relations collapsed.
Ronaldo has scored 24 goals in 38 games for United but rumors of disagreements in the dressing room have persisted, while former caretaker manager Ralf Rangnick allegedly advised the Portuguese striker should be let go in January because he did not suit his preferred style of pressing.
United continue to insist they are not interested in letting Ronaldo go despite the player being allowed to miss Monday’s training session for “family reasons”, but Chelsea will now consider exploring the finer points of a deal target.
They have also been informed that PSG’s Neymar could be available but so far Tuchel has pushed in other ways to bolster Chelsea’s attack.
They have made a £60million offer to Leeds United winger Raphinha while also negotiating with Manchester City to sign Raheem Sterling, a deal they are increasingly hoping for.
Sources have also told ESPN that Tuchel is keen for Chelsea to start if striker Robert Lewandowski shows a willingness to join England. Bayern have so far turned down multiple offers for the 34-year-old from Barcelona, who is Lewandowski’s preferred target.
There are suggestions Ronaldo might be willing to take a pay cut to ensure he can play in the Champions League next season and despite his fondness for United, sources said he would be ready to join a long-time rival.
Ronaldo was on the verge of signing for City before returning to United from Old Trafford last summer after a 12-year absence.
https://www.espn.com/soccer/soccer-transfers/story/4694583/cristiano-ronaldo-open-to-chelsea-move-after-request-to-leave-manchester-united-sources Cristiano Ronaldo open to Chelsea move after request to leave Manchester United