Talks to determine the future of Cristiano Ronaldo will take place over the next two days, and one report has outlined why Man Utd could now sell to Chelsea.
Ronaldo was greeted with to a hero’s reception upon returning to Manchester United in 2021. The Portuguese icon, 37, then proceeded to do exactly what he was brought back to do.
He top-scored for the club last season when bagging 24 goals in all competitions. However, the team as a whole struggled and ultimately missed out on Champions League qualification.
Concerns that Ronaldo at this stage of his career was a poor fit for United were voiced early and often.
Ronaldo has retained his backers through thick and thin, most notably Roy Keane, though even Gary Neville has performed a U-turn on whether Ronaldo should stay.
The catalyst behind that change of stance has been twofold – Erik ten Hag’s arrival and Ronaldo’s own personal antics.
Ten Hag requires a more mobile striker who’s willing to work just as hard when defending as he does while attacking. Ronaldo’s lack of defensive workrate led to being relegated to a bit-part player, something he’s unsurprisingly not taken well.
Ronaldo was axed from their latest squad to face Chelsea on Saturday after refusing to come on as a substitute against Tottenham.
The Daily Mail reported he was fined two weeks wages (approx £1m), while other outlets claimed he’s been forced to train with the Under-23s.
The idea of moving to America to join an MLS side, such as Inter Miami, has been floated. However, according to SundayWorld, a move within the Premier League to Chelsea is taking shape.
Obstacle to Chelsea transfer removed
The Blues were interested in signing Ronaldo during the summer as the new ownership sought an eye-catching arrival to kick off the new era in style.
However, former manager Thomas Tuchel was against the move, believing Ronaldo would become his Romelu Lukaku 2.0
Tuchel has since been dismissed and replaced by Graham Potter, and the SundayWorld reckon the path is now clear for Ronaldo to play in blue.
Chelsea are reaffirmed to still be interested in signing Ronaldo. His commercial value is noted as being very attractive to Todd Boehly and co.
Talks between Man Utd and Ronaldo will reportedly take place over the next 36 hours. A parting of ways is one topic that will be on the agenda.
If that course of action is deemed appropriate, the report states a January move to Chelsea could be on the cards.
What type of deal would Ronaldo get?
A short-term deal, likely for six months, has already been floated. Any such deal may also contain an option for a one-year extension if Ronaldo’s time at Chelsea is a success.
Adding further fuel to the fire is the claim Ronaldo is prepared to take a pay-cut to make the move happen.
Chelsea would be able to afford his wages of roughly £500,000-a-week anyway, though any such pay-cut would aid the deal’s chances nonetheless.
A key factor in Ronaldo wanting to leave United last summer was the absence of Champions League football.
Chelsea would satisfy that demand and after a slow start in Group E, now top the table after four rounds. A knockout campaign post-Christmas is now odds-on.
If Ronaldo does depart Man Utd, a move for an explosive Dutch forward is expected to ramp up.
READ MORE: Man Utd hijack Liverpool transfer after Ten Hag lands early blow, with attacker’s cost mirroring recent Chelsea coup