Cristiano Ronaldo could spend season training with reserves if Man Utd block Chelsea move -Paper Round

Chelsea could make move for Ronaldo

Manchester United had been open to letting Cristiano Ronaldo join another club abroad in January, but they then considered sacking the 37-year-old after he gave an unauthorised interview, using it to stir trouble. That would allow them to stop paying his huge wages, but they would be concerned that Chelsea would swoop in to sign the player, reports the Mirror.

Paper Round’s view: Buying Ronaldo would give Chelsea a superb striker to lead the line, perhaps for the rest of the season, and give them the goals they need to secure a top-four finish. That would imperil United’s chances of doing the same thing, which makes United’s decision about what to do with the striker far more difficult to resolve in the near term.

Newcastle plan double swoop

Eddie Howe’s successful start to the season with Newcastle United has given the club a boost and their Saudi owners are looking to spend big to support their attempt to finish in the top four. They could aim to sign Borussia Monchengladbach’s 25-year-old forward Marcus Thuram, whose contract expires at the end of the season, and also buy 19-year-old Maximo Perrone from Velez Sarsfield, according to the Sun.

Paper Round’s view: Howe and Newcastle have done with their resources to put together a squad that offers good value for money but that is able to challenge for Champions League football ahead of schedule. Thuram hs impressed in his time in Germany and is probably ready to step up, while his club probably will be willing to cut a deal in January so as to avoid losing him for nothing.

Juventus target Milinkovic-Savic swoop

The Mail claims that Juventus are interested in signing Lazio’s 27-year-old midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic. The Serbian international’s contract is up at the end of the 2024 season so Lazio may be willing to do a deal, and in order to raise fund for a transfer, Juventus are considering the sale of Adrien Rabiot this January, with his own deal to expire at the end of the season.

Paper Round’s view: It feels like Milinkovic-Savic has been a target for a top team for each of the last four or five seasons, and with his contract coming up for renewal relatively soon, now is the time for him to find his true level, if he is ever going to. If he stays at Lazio then he might be a fan favourite but he will be unlikely to win many trophies.

Ronaldo faces life on the sidelines

The Telegraph reports on an awkward future that could be in front of Manchester United striker Cristiano Ronaldo. If no exit deal is agreed – and the story above suggests there are complications – then he might have to train with their reserve squad. That would leave United paying his wages and Ronaldo spending six months without first team football.

Paper Round’s view: Missing out on six months or so would prevent Ronaldo from adding to his goalscoring record, something that you would imagine would cause him some distress. Ronaldo’s actions with the interview are pretty difficult to defend, but he is forcing United to get rid of him at a time that there is no obvious place to go to next.

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