Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Graham Potter has already delivered Cristiano Ronaldo to Chelsea transfer verdict amid Boehly craving

Graham Potter has already delivered Cristiano Ronaldo to Chelsea transfer verdict amid Boehly craving

Cristiano Ronaldo may have played his final game for Manchester United, which would almost probably mark the conclusion of his Premier League career.

The 38-year-old’s contract expires at the end of the season, he wanted to leave Old Trafford in the summer when the Red Devils failed to qualify for the Champions League, and he has spent the majority of this season in the negative limelight.

Not only did he miss preseason due to personal reasons – while his agent was touring the world looking for potential suitors for him – but Erik ten Hag has employed him as a minor player. The Portuguese forward has now addressed his difficulties in public.

After leaving the stadium early during Manchester United’s 2-0 victory over Tottenham in October, Ronaldo was subsequently omitted off the team’s trip to Chelsea and drew considerable criticism for his actions. Following this, Ronaldo stated on Instagram that he would address these issues, which he has done.

In an interview with Piers Morgan, the five-time champion of the Champions League was asked if he felt pressured to leave the club, to which he responded: “Yes. Not only the coach but the other two or three guys that are around the club.” He was then asked if this was at senior executive level, and he added: “Yes. I felt betrayed.”

Since being dropped, he has returned and donned the captain’s armband, but Ten Hag hasn’t warmed up to him due to his unwillingness to press or play a larger role in his footballing structure, a fact that has divided opinion.

Ronaldo continued by saying: “Honestly, I shouldn’t say that I don’t know but listen, I don’t care. People should listen to the truth. Yes, I feel betrayed and I felt that some people they don’t want me here. Not only this year but last year too.”

Chelsea is an obvious candidate for a possible midseason deal, given they have already scouted the attacker, who will represent Qatar at the 2022 World Cup.

Todd Boehly spent a significant chunk of the summer asking Thomas Tuchel if Cristiano Ronaldo was a possible possibility, and the American is still seeking Ronaldo’s signature.

Boehly is already on shaky ground with Blues fans with the dismissal of Tuchel and the subsequent struggles under Graham Potter, but the current manager will not be swayed by Ronaldo’s aura.

“Well I can’t really comment because I don’t know the ins and outs,” Potter said before Chelsea faced United last month, days after he left the ground early. “But he’s taken his stance, sometimes you have to do that,” he added when asked about how Ten Hag dealt with the matter. “And then you need the club’s support and from the outside that’s what has happened.

“Well it’s difficult for me to comment because I don’t know the actual context, I don’t know what’s really happened, I don’t want to go off headlines and things like that.

“Part of the job is to take some decisions that are difficult, but that’s normal.”

As for the player himself, Potter has previously beamed about him, stating last season, “You run out of superlatives in terms of what he’s achieved in his career and the player that he is. He’s had an absolutely amazing career, world-class, it’s out-of-this-world class. There’s nothing else to say with that.”

But when it came to potentially working with the superstar he was coyer. “Too often we zoom into individuals and forget it’s a team game. Sometimes when the team isn’t scoring, the person at the front of the pitch gets the zooming in, we’ve had it ourselves with Neal (Maupay), for example.

“From what I’ve seen, you still see the quality he has and the quality he brings to the group and the team.”

Under a strategic manager like Potter, it is difficult to understand where another player in his late 30s fits into the club’s agenda, given the necessity for a complete rebuild from the inside out. If Ronaldo cannot join Chelsea, his alternatives are dwindling.

Graham Potter has already delivered Cristiano Ronaldo to Chelsea transfer verdict amid Boehly craving

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