Chelsea decide against signing Cristiano Ronaldo after talks with representatives

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The Guardian

Chelsea have indicated they are no longer interested in signing Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United after holding talks with the Portugal forward’s representatives.

It is understood Chelsea were offered the opportunity to sign the 37-year-old by Jorge Mendes after Ronaldo told United he wanted to leave Old Trafford because of what he perceives as a lack of ambition in their summer transfer dealings. Mendes held talks with Todd Boehly over a potential transfer in recent weeks, with Chelsea’s American co-owner understood to have been intrigued by the idea of buying the five-times Ballon d’Or winner.

However, it is believed that Chelsea – who completed the signing of Raheem Sterling on Wednesday from Manchester City for £50m – have rejected the opportunity after discussions with Thomas Tuchel. The manager plans to mould a versatile, fluid attack and, having allowed Romelu Lukaku to join Internazionale on loan, has Kai Havertz, Timo Werner, Sterling and Armanda Broja as his main striking options. Broja, who spent last season on loan at Southampton, has attracted strong interest from West Ham.

Chelsea are unlikely to add any more attacking reinforcements as Tuchel concentrates on strengthening his defence, although Chelsea are understood to still be in the market for a versatile forward who can also provide cover for Reece James at right wing-back.

Ronaldo has also been offered to Bayern Munich, Napoli and Paris Saint-Germain, although the German champions have said they will not pursue a player who scored 24 goals in 38 appearances for United last season. Ronaldo cited family reasons after not returning to training at United last week and has not joined up with the squad for the pre-season tour.

According to reports in Portugal on Wednesday, an unnamed club in Saudi Arabia have offered Ronaldo a contract worth about £100m a season, but his preference is believed to be to stay in Europe and play in the Champions League.

July 14, 2022 at 04:36PM Ed Aarons in Los Angeles

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