Chelsea would add 497 league goals to their squad by acquiring Cristiano Ronaldo this summer. They would also have the weight and the expectation of the individual and team success that has largely followed Ronaldo throughout his career. The Portuguese striker hasn’t hit less than 18 league goals in 15 seasons, winning seven league titles in that time.
He hasn’t won one in three years, though, and it doesn’t look like he’ll be doing it this season as Manchester United sit at rock bottom of the league after two matches. Ronaldo has only gone three years without winning a domestic league title once since he first won the Premier League in 2007. Unless he gets a move away from Old Trafford, he might not win one again.
The 37-year-old has been the talk of the window with his possible departure looming in the wings all summer, and it looks set to come to a dramatic conclusion after the forward made a dramatic announcement on Instagram. In it, Ronaldo said,
“they know the truth when they interview in a couple of weeks. The media is telling lies. I have a notebook, and in the last few months of the 100 news I made, only 5 were right. Imagine how it is. Stick with that tip.”
This hasn’t gone down well with Gary Neville, who has called for immediate action to be taken by Manchester United owners and directors this week regarding the club’s damaging start to the season, transfer business and long-term planning. Speaking out against Ronaldo’s decision to delay his announcement, Neville tweeted:
“Why does the greatest player of all time (in my opinion) have to wait two weeks to tell Manchester United fans the truth? Stand up now and speak. The club is in crisis, and it needs leaders to lead. He’s the only one who can grab this situation by the scruff of the neck!”
Ronaldo missed all of Erik ten Hag’s first pre- season in charge at Old Trafford for personal reasons but has since returned to the squad after reportedly asking to leave the club this summer to pursue Champions League football. This will be the first season since moving from Sporting Lisbon in 2003 that Ronaldo won’t be playing in Europe’s elite club competition, a tournament he has won five times.
His options for a new club are limited, though Chelsea remains one after Jorge Mendes, the 37-year-old’s agent, offered him to Todd Boehly earlier this summer. Despite the goals that Ronaldo could bring to Thomas Tuchel’s side, the attention and drama around him, as well as the thought that he wouldn’t fit in as part of a flexible forward unit this season, have all made it unlikely that he joins Chelsea. There will now be an eager wait to find out what Ronaldo is holding back.