Blues to bid for Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo
Chelsea, odds-on at 8/11 to win the Premier League, are rumoured to be ready to pip Manchester United to the post and offer Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo an enticing wage packet that could bring the superstar to Stamford Bridge.
Both the Blues and Red Devils are believed to have set upwards of £60m aside to snatch the forward from Carlo Ancelotti’s clutches.
Ronaldo is said to be interested in a return to the Premier League after spending five successful seasons with Spanish giants Real Madrid, where he has netted an incredible 255 goals in 250 appearances.
The 29-year-old is being tipped to depart the Bernabeu next summer, with rumours of his discontent gathering pace, but outlets suggest Blues boss Jose Mourinho is keen to swoop for the Ballon d’Or winner as early as January.
It was thought Ronaldo would only consider a switch to former club United, but it appears the prolific wideman could be tempted to reunite with ex-Los Blancos boss Mourinho. Portugal’s record scorer Ronaldo spent two terms working under the stewardship of his compatriot at the Bernabeu, where the duo won a La Liga crown and Copa del Rey title together.
Chelsea will be hoping that Mourinho’s pedigree and previous relationship with Ronaldo will convince the recent Champions League winner to snub a mooted return to Old Trafford.
Speaking recently, Ronaldo stated: “Manchester is in my heart. I left many good friends there, the supporters are amazing and I wish I can come back one day.”
The Real Madrid talisman enjoyed six seasons with the Red Devils, after arriving from Sporting Lisbon in 2003 for around £12.2m. Under Sir Alex Ferguson’s tutelage, the then teenager developed into one of the best players in the world, and received a hero’s welcome when he returned to Old Trafford with Real in a Champions League last 16 clash in 2013.
Since Ferguson’s retirement, however, the Red Devils have undergone a period of transition and are unable to offer Champions League football this campaign. Chelsea’s surprisingly relative stability in comparison may provide them with an edge if negotiations are opened in the January transfer market.
Real Madrid, who are 10/3 to retain the Champions League title, seem to have already braced themselves for the departure of their most lethal attacker, after snapping up Colombia World Cup hero James Rodriguez this summer. Rodriguez was added to an exciting squad that already boasted Galacticos such as Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema, Isco and Ronaldo.
If Los Blancos do cash in on the supposedly wantaway Ronaldo, they are reported to be keen to raid Stamford Bridge in return, and take brilliant Belgian Eden Hazard to Spanish shores.
Red Devils fans, meanwhile, will be hoping emotion wins out over pragmatism and convinces Ronaldo to opt for Old Trafford over the charms of Mourinho, if he decides to end his Real adventure.