Chelsea have emerged as favourites to sign wantaway Manchester United forward, Cristiano Ronaldo.
As reported in the Evening Standard, Chelsea are set to reignite their interest in the Portuguese star, who is almost certain to leave Manchester in the upcoming winter window.
“Chelsea are favourites to sign Cristiano Ronaldo in January following Sunday’s explosive interview which the player has effectively burned his bridges at Old Trafford” the outlet says.
“Chelsea, who weighed up signing Ronaldo in the summer, is the most likely destination for the Portuguese star. At the time, head coach Thomas Tuchel rejected the idea, so it remains to be seen if new manager Graham Potter sees things differently should another approach be made.”
Ronaldo has been unable to force his way into Erik Ten Hag’s first eleven and his recent comments stating his lack of respect for his manager, has all but confirmed he has played his last game for United.
It was reported that new Chelsea owner, Todd Boehly, wanted to sign Ronaldo in the summer but the move wasn’t backed by the then manager, Thomas Tuchel.
Since then, Tuchel has been replaced by Graham Potter at Stamford Bridge and Ronaldo’s situation has reached breaking point at Old Trafford.
In his shock interview with Piers Morgan, Ronaldo has claimed Ten Hag, along with “two or three others” have tried to “force him out” of the club and now he looks a certainty to leave.
These quotes are contrary to what was reported in the summer, with Ronaldo’s transfer request underpinning the belief that it was he, that was looking to force his way out, rather than the other way around.
United appeared open to facilitating a move but no viable option presented itself to Ronaldo, whose astronomical wages and desire to play in the Champions League left only a handful of teams in the running – all of which distanced themselves from the signing.
A move to a Premier League rival would be unpalatable to not just the United hierarchy but the fans who have worshiped him for so long.
However, relations are now at the point of, anywhere is better than here – a situation that was unthinkable when Ronaldo returned to Old Trafford just over twelve months ago.
Ten Hag has dealt with the Ronaldo circus incredibly well to this point but even he will feel a weight has been lifted, should Ronaldo move after the World Cup.
A return to an old flame in Rome, in the shape of Jose Mourinho, is another viable option for Ronaldo, according to the bookmakers.
Sporting Lisbon and any Saudi club are also in the running, with the Saudi’s happy to match any wage demands in an attempt to raise the league’s profile.
Wherever Ronaldo ends up, this messy end to his second marriage with United will leave a sour taste in the mouth and go a long way in tarnishing the incredible esteem he was held in at Old Trafford.