Ronaldo to Chelsea – a disaster-in-waiting or mad enough to work?

Is Cristiano Ronaldo to Chelsea a minefield Todd Boehly must avoid… or could it actually work? Thomas Tuchel has struggled with big egos in the past, but the Blues need a striker and he could be the PERFECT quick fix

  • Cristiano Ronaldo has told Manchester United he wants to leave this summer
  • The Portugal forward is desperate for Champions League football next season
  • Chelsea hold an interest, but would Ronaldo be a good fit for Thomas Tuchel? 

So Cristiano Ronaldo wants out of Manchester United, Todd Boehly is eyeing a a marquee signing that could kick-start his tenure as Chelsea owner and Thomas Tuchel needs to find a new striker for the Blues. 

Is Ronaldo the perfect fix? Romelu Lukaku’s Stamford Bridge return was a disaster and his move back to Inter Milan was unsurprising but it leaves a void Chelsea need to fill.

Raheem Sterling at Manchester City is a key target but the England forward might not be the only attacker heading south to London this summer after it emerged over the weekend that Ronaldo wants out of United.

Cristiano Ronaldo has been linked with Chelsea with his Manchester United future uncertain

Ronaldo has told United he wants them to accept a fair offer to buy him if one is made

Todd Boehly, the new Chelsea owner, is said to be interested in signing the 37-year-old

The 37-year-old Portugal forward wants Champions League football and a new era has dawned at Chelsea with Boehly having bought the club from Roman Abramovich. A move to sign Ronaldo could be a symbol of his commitment to maintain the trophy-laden era seen under his predecessor.

First thing’s first, Ronaldo scores goals wherever he goes. He hit 24 in all competitions in a floundering United side last season and is keeping father time at bay for now. There’d be no reason to expect anything different if he was playing in blue.

His aerial presence is one of his key threats and with Chelsea’s wing-back setup under Tuchel, utilising players such as Reece James and, for now at least, Marcos Alonso, a player who thrives on searching crosses into the area would, on paper, work well for Tuchel.

But would the German want Ronaldo? He deploys a pressing style at Chelsea and Kai Havertz has worked his role in the No 9 position excellently. Ronaldo, on the other hand, isn’t exactly famed for his pressing or off-the-ball work rate.

Tuchel is known to have his reservations and yet he spoken glowingly about Ronaldo in the past.

Before Chelsea played Juventus last year, Tuchel was asked on how the Italians have changed after selling the Portugal star to United.

‘Time will tell, but I think it is not a secret that any team in the world without Cristiano [Ronaldo] is in some parts of the game a weaker team,’ said Tuchel. 

‘He is one of the greatest who has ever played this game, and he proves it every time he is on the field.

‘Now [he is] in the Premier League and in the Champions League, so they lost a big champion, a big point of reference and a big personality. But you can win games and be a strong team without Cristiano Ronaldo. This is also true.’

Thomas Tuchel and Chelsea are in next season’s Champions League, which is key for Ronaldo

Tuchel has spoken positively of Ronaldo in the past but reportedly holds reservations now

Tuchel will be aware that there aren’t, as it stands, an array of elite strikers available at present. Darwin Nunez has joined Liverpool, Gabriel Jesus has moved to Arsenal and Robert Lewandowski is agitating to join Barcelona. Ronaldo, it seems, is available.

But then there’s the flip side. Ronaldo was good at United, yes – but how much did the team revolve around him last year? And to what extent was it to United’s detriment that it did?

Ronaldo would expect star treatment and to be centre stage at Chelsea and Tuchel does have a history of clashing with egos around him. At PSG, for example, his time in the French capital saw in-fighting with former sporting director Antero Henrique and Leonardo.

Tuchel publicly hit out at Leonardo, PSG’s then-sporting director, over the exits of Edinson Cavani, Thomas Meunier and club captain Thiago Silva, as well as promising young pair Tanguy Kouassi and Adil Aouchiche, all of whom left for nothing.

Leonardo returned fire, saying: ‘I did not like the statement of the coach Tuchel. I don’t understand it and I did not like it. The club did not like it.’

The incident is perhaps worth taking note of for Boehly. Tuchel won’t keep his silence if the new Chelsea setup aren’t singing from the same hymn sheet as he is.

In terms of management style, Tuchel obviously has history of managing big names by overseeing the likes of Neymar and Mbappe.

Ronaldo scored 24 goals for United last season in a floundering setup at Old Trafford

Tuchel has worked with big players in the past, such as PSG striker Kylian Mbappe

Chelsea need a new attacker after Romelu Lukaku unsurprisingly returned to Inter Milan

Speaking of his management style, Tuchel said: ‘They are also guys, once standing as a six year old with a ball at the beach or on the street. So find what drives this guy, find this little guy in the superstar and then take the right approach. 

‘Of course be straight, be honest. I want to have a connection with my players and give guys responsibility. It is not possible that players just take care of themselves – when you’re a big player you must take care of the dressing room.

‘You can be close and you have to be speak honestly with each other and I try to be friendly, but not to be friends so this is maybe the thin line that you have to create.’

There’s a long way to go yet, but Tuchel and Ronaldo joining forces could be fireworks – for better or for worse. 

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