The Cristiano Ronaldo transfer saga has taken many twists and turns, and even after the closing of the transfer window, more details are emerging. Having been linked early in the summer to both Bayern Munich and Chelsea FC, Ronaldo ultimately found himself with a beggar’s choice and stayed at Manchester United. However, Chelsea’s new American owner Todd Boehly apparently did want to bring him to West London — only to be refused by then-Blues coach Thomas Tuchel.
From Sport Bild’s Christian Falk:
TRUE the fact that Thomas Tuchel resisted buying Cristiano Ronaldo was one reason for the bad relationship with Todd Boehly. Boehly wanted Ronaldo. Tuchel said: “He will distroy[sic] the Spirit in my dressing room” @BILD_Sport
Bayern Munich were in need of a successor, arguably in both position and star power, after Robert Lewandowski’s departure to FC Barcelona. But they found that early on in Liverpool FC’s Sadio Mané, and Ronaldo made only tenuous sense afterwards. Sporting director Hasan “Brazzo” Salihamidžić would flatly deny interest in Ronaldo, and any talks that did occur were reportedly initiated by the Portuguese player’s camp.
Chelsea also needed more reliable goal-scorers — despite having spent huge sums on Timo Werner and Romelu Lukaku in successive windows — and the interest there, at least from the ownership side, now seems more plausibly real. The Blues would have offered Ronaldo the Champions League football he had been seeking, with a chance to break scoring records this year. But the new ownership seems to have tried their best to accommodate their now-fired coach in what would end up a heavy window of transfer spending.
Tuchel’s reasoning falls roughly in line with Bayern’s, if the Germans didn’t say so in as many words. Ronaldo may be a legendary player on the pitch, but his stature and likely financial requirements would not have been a straightforward fit into locker rooms even for clubs with the means to acquire him.
Ultimately, Tuchel was perhaps rightly worried about the esprit de corps at his club; he found himself sacked earlier this week with reports emerging in The Athletic that he had lost touch with many of his players.
And so it’s now blues all around: Ronaldo is still languishing in the Europa League and often on the Manchester United bench, while Chelsea find themselves having only just secured Tuchel’s former ace Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as striker in Ronaldo’s stead — who may or may not be the man for incoming coach Graham Potter.
Ronaldo’s dramatic transfer sagas ever since he sensationally left Real Madrid for Juventus have not seemed to bring good fortune to his more recent clubs. This time, he apparently didn’t even need to sign the deal to become a (small) part of the fallout.