Change is in the air in London with the purchase of Chelsea to a partnership led by American tycoon Todd Boehly. According to The Athletic, Boehly was recently sighted in Portugal speaking with Cristiano Ronaldo’s agent, Jorge Mendes, after taking over as temporary sporting director. Chelsea club director Marina Granovskaia has departed the club following a reorganisation. For the time being, all sales and purchases will be up to Boehly. The return of Romelu Lukaku to Inter Milan is almost complete. At the same time, Chelsea is also in talks with Manchester City to sign Raheem Sterling.
Ronaldo’s future was reportedly addressed between Boehly and Mendes. After Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag took over, there was speculation about Ronaldo’s future, and this encounter suggests that it may be cloudy. Last season, Cristiano Ronaldo scored 18 goals, excellent for third-most in the Premier League. Still, ten Hag needs willing pressers to maintain his 4-3-3 aligned in defence and transition play. He stated that he expects Cristiano Ronaldo to score goals.
Bayern Munich has emerged as a potential Ronaldo destination owing to Robert Lewandowski’s desire to go. Still, they’ve already added Sadio Mane to their attack. On the surface, United intend to keep Cristiano Ronaldo, who has a year remaining on his contract. Without the pull of Champions League soccer, finding a successor would be difficult. Plans may alter if enough money is dangled, but why would Chelsea be interested in the Portuguese forward?
Why is Boehly considering bringing in Cristiano Ronaldo?
It’s no secret that Chelsea struggled to score goals last season. Compared to Ronaldo’s 18 goals and three assists, Timo Werner, Romelu Lukaku, and Kai Havertz combined for 20 goals and four assists.
It leaves a vacancy atop the formation with Lukaku looking on his way back to Italy. On the surface, adding a worldwide superstar like Ronaldo appears to be the biggest splash Boehly can make. Even at 37, his finishing is superior to the majority of attackers on the market. He’d provide the profile that the squad hoped for from Lukaku. Werner is a better winger than Havertz, and Havertz is more of a link-up attacker than a goal-scoring attacker. It would provide Chelsea with the deadly finisher they’ve lacked since Diego Costa departed the club in 2018.
Does Manchester United wish to progress?
Both Cristiano Ronaldo and Manchester United, at least publicly, want to continue working together. Ronaldo may not be a good fit for what ten Hag intends to achieve, but competent managers can devise a system that works with their players. Without Ronaldo, the attacking burden would rest on Anthony Elanga and the irregular Marcus Rashford, which would be much too much for them to bear. Darwin Nunez is already off the market after joining Liverpool, and Sebastian Haller is on the verge of joining Borussia Dortmund. Available options are becoming scarce. The squad might probably take a gamble on a forward like Lille’s Jonathan David, but it appears doubtful.
While United may not want to lose Ronaldo, the fact that his representative is travelling around discussing alternative options suggests that the star may want to leave United. He wants to compete at the most outstanding levels of the game. United’s inability to deliver Champions League while simultaneously trying to make additions to strengthen the club does not create an atmosphere in which he can do so.
What role does Ronaldo play for Chelsea?
This is when things become fuzzy. While Chelsea desperately needs a goalkeeper, a partnership between Cristiano Ronaldo and Thomas Tuchel does not appear realistic. You’d think Chelsea would avoid something like this after the public breakdown between Lukaku and the club, yet here we are. Ronaldo has been a positive impact on the Manchester United dressing room. Still, his refusal to push and body language on the pitch do not transmit a positive or Tuchel-approved message.
When Chelsea is at its best, they don’t need their striker to score goals if their wingers are doing their job, which is why Sterling has been linked. Havertz excels at generating opportunities and space for others. Still, Cristiano Ronaldo prefers to sit in the box and wait for things to come to him. According to TruMedia, his 4.7 metres covered in each possession are comparable to Lukaku’s, and his work rate is a trademark of a Tuchel club. While constant sprinting was once a component of Ronaldo’s game, he has to change his manner to extend his career. It’s working because he’s still producing at a high level, but it doesn’t make sense for Chelsea in their present system. Tuchel would not change things to get the best out of Lukaku instead of benching him, and it’s difficult to imagine him doing the same with Ronaldo.