Ronaldinho Reported to Have Rejected Leicester January Transfer Offer

Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistFebruary 4, 2016

Brazil's football player Ronaldinho attends an agreement signing ceremony with local football club Tampines Rovers in Singapore on December 10, 2015. Brazilian legend Ronaldinho on December 10 signed an agreement to establish a football academy in soccer-mad Singapore, the local club that he partnered with said. AFP PHOTO / MOHD FYROL / AFP / MOHD FYROL        (Photo credit should read MOHD FYROL/AFP/Getty Images)
MOHD FYROL/Getty Images

Brazil legend Ronaldinho rejected the chance to join Premier League leaders Leicester City and make a run at the title this season, reportedly opting to wait for a big-money move to China instead.

Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo claimed the 35-year-old was approached by Foxes manager Claudio Ranieri about a move to the King Power Stadium in January, but he could not be swayed (h/t Sun's Danny Collins).

Ronaldinho left Fluminense in September after just two months at the club.
Ronaldinho left Fluminense in September after just two months at the club.GREGG NEWTON/Getty Images

In what could have gone down as one of the most surprising transfers in modern history, the former Barcelona, AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain star may finally have arrived in the Premier League—but not under the terms many may have expected.

Ranieri's Leicester are leading the English top flight, three points above Manchester City with 14 games remaining, and an anxious end-of-season run-in awaits this season's dark horses.

Ronaldinho has been without a club since leaving Brasileirao Serie A side Fluminense in September 2015, but Collins said the trickster is looking to join the Chinese Super League in a move "he so desperately craves."

According to Sky Sports correspondent Paulo Freitas, Ranieri may have dodged a bullet by not signing a player he recently described as "overrated:"

While Ronaldinho boasts a glittering trophy cabinet, including a World Cup, a Confederations Cup, a Champions League title and two Primera Division titles, one can debate how much he could offer Leicester.

Given the club's horizons have expanded considerably this term, the Foxes may not have major use for a player who made 23 appearances in 2015 but played the full 90 minutes in just five of those games, per Transfermarkt.

That being said, Ronaldinho would undoubtedly be of value in terms of the wisdom he'd have to share with a squad looking to claim the Premier League, but perhaps not when he'd likely rank among the club's top earners.

In any case, South American football expert Robbie Blakeley believes it's the former Selecao superstar who will be left kicking himself:

Leicester's City's biggest triumph of the winter transfer window was managing to retain all the talent that's pushed them to the Premier League's summit, including Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez.

By adding Demarai Gray and Daniel Amartey to their ranks in January, Leicester can push ahead in their shock run toward domestic silverware, looking to show Ronaldinho what he's missing out on.