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Ronaldo will slash wages to secure United exit

Premier League


High demands: Cristiano Ronaldo wants to challenge for top honours

High demands: Cristiano Ronaldo wants to challenge for top honours

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High demands: Cristiano Ronaldo wants to challenge for top honours

Christiano Ronaldo is willing to take a considerable pay cut in order to join a Champions League challenger, with his desire to try and win the competition again — or at least a major domestic title — the primary motivation for his immediate future.

The Portuguese’s current contract has him on a wage of over £500,000, with some sources insisting it actually results in a deal worth over £700,000. Ronaldo is willing to significantly lower this, though, especially after an initial attempt to sound out potential suitors did not bring much serious interest.

The majority of clubs balked at the prices that would be involved, but also had issues about what Ronaldo’s style might mean for their teams. Such is the 37-year-old’s will to challenge for the Champions League in the final years of his career, though, that he is willing to make significant compromises to go to a club that would give him that chance.

Among the preferred options are Chelsea, Bayern Munich and — much less likely — Paris Saint-Germain, and it is hoped that the player’s willingness to adapt might see the clubs move.

For all the debate about the relationship with Manchester United, Ronaldo does not want to go to rivals, although it remains to be seen how the club would consider a potential move to Chelsea if that became an option.

Ronaldo’s career at Old Trafford isn’t completely past the point of no return, however, and much will depend on his eventual first face-to-face meeting with Erik ten Hag. The player was given dispensation to miss training yesterday, for what was the new coach’s first day with the squad.

There is also the possibility that a lack of suitors leaves Ronaldo without viable options, and means he has to stay anyway.

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Roma are currently seen as unlikely, and are in the Europa League, while Napoli have already publicly played down interest. The latter did qualify for the Champions League, but need to sell to buy.

This is all why Ronaldo’s willingness to lower demands might change the situation, though, for what has quickly become one of the summer’s most high-profile stories.

Some close to the situation are wondering Bayern could become a late option, although that is entirely dependent on the Robert Lewandowski situation. While the Pole is still seen as certain to go to Barcelona, the German champions may balk at a second signing for a player past the age of 28, having already brought in Sadio Mane. Again, though, it is hoped the ease of a deal could prove persuasive.

Chelsea, it is understood, will not divert from their top transfer targets while mulling possible moves for Ronaldo and Neymar.

The Blues still hope to wrap up a deal for Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling quickly now, with negotiations also continuing with Leeds’ Brazil forward Raphinha.

Chelsea are understood to have been encouraged towards bids for both United’s Ronaldo and Paris St Germain’s Neymar through intermediaries.

New chairman and interim sporting director Todd Boehly is thought to have had his interest piqued by the star power of two of the global game’s most recognisable figures.

But manager Thomas Tuchel will be expected to have the top say on whether the Stamford Bridge club look to carry any initial interest further forward.

Boehly is understood to have met with Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes and talked on a number of different players.

Tuchel is a big admirer of Ronaldo’s clear talents, but Chelsea are pursuing a forward line and tactical approach based around fluidity and movement.

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