Chelsea may have been sent an indirect warning by Manchester United about Cristiano Ronaldo, who is admired by the Blues co-owner Todd Boehly. After being handed a bit-part role in Erik ten Hag’s revolution of United, the six-time Ballon d’Or winner saw his contract terminated in November following a scathing attack on the club.
Ronaldo had initially registered a desire to leave the Red Devils in the summer after they were unable to achieve Champions League football, with Chelsea and Boehly interested in signing him. The 37-year-old went on to start only five of United’s 14 Premier League games, with most of his minutes arriving in the Europa League.
Ahead of the World Cup commencing, United confirmed that Ronaldo would not be returning to the club with his contract, which was up in 2023, being terminated by mutual consent.
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Ronaldo also saw his role in the Portugal national team diminish after starting their three group outings, he was dropped for the last-16 clash against Switzerland by Fernando Santos. Goncalo Ramos took his place and scored a hat-trick in a 6-1 win, but Portugal were unable to get past Morocco in the next round, exiting the tournament at the quarter-final stage.
Interest in Ronaldo has arrived from the Middle East with Al-Nassr placing a proposal on the table for Ronaldo to join until 2025, however the former Real Madrid forward is hopeful a European club will register an interest.
Chelsea seem to be his best bet, especially now the Blues will likely search for a striker in January following the knee injury and subsequent surgery to Armando Broja. However, they may be tempted to look elsewhere especially given United’s stance on Ronaldo which has perhaps been shown with how they said goodbye to Ronaldo.
Players who leave a significant mark on a club normally receive a tribute video or beautiful piece of graphic design thanking them for their contribution. For Ronaldo though, it was an 81-word message in the matchday programme for United’s Carabao Cup match with Burnley.
“Cristiano Ronaldo left the club by mutual agreement last month,” the message began. “The Portuguese superstar scored 145 goals across two spells and 436 appearances and helped us win three Premier League titles, one FA Cup, two League Cups, the Champions League and the FIFA Club World Cup.
“Ronaldo was also crowned Ballon D’or winner in 2008. In a statement on November 22, the club put on record its gratitude for Cristiano’s immense contribution and wished him and his family well for the future.”
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