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Cristiano Ronaldo Rumors: Chelsea out of Running to Sign Manchester United Star

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVJuly 14, 2022

David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

Chelsea has reportedly removed itself from discussions about signing superstar forward Cristiano Ronaldo away from Premier League rival Manchester United.

ESPN's James Olley reported Thursday that Blues manager Thomas Tuchel has "huge admiration" for Ronaldo, but he reached the conclusion he'd "prefer to pursue other options to strengthen their attack" during the summer transfer window.

Ronaldo requested a transfer from Manchester United in early July because of his desire to play in the UEFA Champions League, per Duncan Castles of The Times. The Red Devils fell 13 points shy of UCL qualification for the 2022-23 season.

United manager Erik ten Hag said Monday the 37-year-old Portugal international is away from the club for the start of preseason preparations because of a personal matter, but he confirmed the expectation he'll remain at Old Trafford.

"No, we are planning with Ronaldo for this season, so that's it, and I am looking forward to working with him," Ten Hag told reporters. "I don't know. He hasn't told me this, so I have read, but what I say [is] Cristiano is not for sale. He's in our plans, and we want to get success together."

French outlet RMC Sport reported (via Melissa Edwards of Sports Illustrated) that Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Napoli were among the clubs to show initial interest in Ronaldo.

Bruno Ferreira of CNN Portugal added Wednesday (via Nathan Ridley of the Daily Mirror) that the five-time Ballon d'Or winner received a €300 million offer to leave Europe to play in Saudi Arabia on a two-year contract.

So far there's no indication an agreement with any club is close, though there's plenty of time left before the transfer window closes in early September.

Meanwhile, Manchester United opened its six-fixture preseason schedule with a 4-0 victory over Liverpool on Tuesday. It'll kick off the Premier League term Aug. 7 when it hosts Brighton & Hove Albion.

Ronaldo recorded 24 goals in 38 appearances across all competitions for United last season. It's his second stint with the club after a previous stay from 2003 through 2009.

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