Rumour Has It: Chelsea and Fiorentina in for Ronaldo as Man Utd look to tear up contract

By Sports Desk November 20, 2022

Manchester United are looking sever ties with Cristiano Ronaldo following his explosive interview this week, according to reports.

United put out a statement that they are taking "appropriate steps in response to Cristiano's recent media interview".

That has fuelled speculation his contract – which is due to run out at the end of the season – will be torn up.

TOP STORY – CHELSEA AND FIORENTINA READY FOR JANUARY RONALDO MOVES

The Mirror claims Chelsea are ready to reignite their interest in Cristiano Ronaldo in January, while Italian reports have linked Fiorentina with him too.

Blues owner Todd Boehly was keen on the 37-year-old during the last transfer window but nothing materialised. However, following their slow start to the season and head coach Thomas Tuchel's exit, Chelsea may be back in for the under-fire Portugal international.

Calciomercatoweb claims Fiorentina could also make a move in January, with wealthy owner Rocco B Commisso ready to offer him a lucrative deal.

ROUND-UP

- Manchester City loom as an option for Lionel Messi, according to El Nacional. City are managed by Messi's former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola, who could lure him to England. Barca are eager to secure a return for Messi, whose contract with Paris Saint-Germain ends in mid-2023, but he has deferred all talks on his future until after the World Cup.

- The Sun on Sunday claims Chelsea will keep a close eye on Everton's Jordan Pickford with England during the World Cup as Boehly considers a move for a new goalkeeper.

- Chelsea are considering moving for Aston Villa's Leon Bailey, according to the Mail on Sunday. Jamaica international Bailey is close friends with Blues winger Raheem Sterling.

- Milan are contemplating a January move for Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar, whose agents approached the Italian champions. Aouar's contract expires at the end of this season.

- Manchester United teenager Alejandro Garnacho is set to see his wages multiply 10 times on a bumper new contract, claims the Daily Star. The Argentine's new deal would see his wages rise from £5,000 to around £50,000.

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  • Erik ten Hag: Manchester United have a defensive puzzle to solve against City Erik ten Hag: Manchester United have a defensive puzzle to solve against City

    Erik ten Hag admits he must solve a defensive “puzzle” for Sunday’s Manchester derby.

    Harry Maguire has joined Luke Shaw, Lisandro Martinez, Tyrell Malacia and Aaron Wan-Bissaka on the sidelines through injury and Manchester United boss Ten Hag is expected to pick from the same squad that edged past Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup in midweek.

    Sofyan Amrabat returned to the United side on Wednesday on the left, with Diogo Dalot on the right.

    Ten Hag said on manutd.com: “We have to lay the puzzle because we are still missing full-backs. We are still missing centre-halves.

    “So we have to be creative but I think we can. On Wednesday, we showed we can, if we have the right plan.

    “But, more important than that, if we have that passion, and that ambition, and desire and determination to win the game, then we are able to do it.”

    United’s best run of the season was halted last weekend by a 2-1 defeat against Fulham, dealing a major blow to their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League.

    A trip to the Etihad Stadium, where United have conceded a combined 10 goals in their last two visits, presents a formidable challenge, but Ten Hag believes they can put the Fulham disappointment behind them.

    “Of course, it’s annoying,” he said. “It still annoys me, that game against Fulham. But it happened and, also, we can’t forget what happened before that.

    “From January on, we are in very good form, on a very good run. We bounced back (at Forest) and we have to keep this process going. We’re looking forward, great games are coming up – big games and good challenges.

    “So the team is really excited about that. I’m excited about going into this game, and also the coming games, but Sunday is very important.”

  • Pep Guardiola savours ‘dream’ derby preparation Pep Guardiola savours ‘dream’ derby preparation

    Pep Guardiola feels having four clear days ahead of a Manchester derby is a “dream” at this stage of the season.

    Guardiola’s Manchester City host arch-rivals United at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday in what could be a key match in their bid to win a fourth successive Premier League crown.

    It is a crucial month for City with games against title rivals Liverpool and Arsenal to come, as well as the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie and an FA Cup quarter-final.

    City were last in action on Tuesday when they thrashed Luton 6-2 in the cup fifth round and Guardiola believes the derby preparations since have been ideal.

    “Tuesday to Sunday is enough (time), it is a dream,” he said. “We will recover well.

    “The problem is Saturday to Tuesday with trips, that is less recovery, but the players were extraordinary against Luton.

    “We had two days off with rest, not seeing each other, and then two days to prepare for United.”

    Yet despite opportunities for rest being minimal as last season’s treble winners again pursue glory on three fronts, Guardiola admits this time of year – with all its intensity – is what he relishes most.

    He said: “Absolutely, (these periods) are the best. How nice. I prefer that than the opposite.

    “It is so nice to have this fixture against United, to have the chance to qualify for the quarter-finals of the Champions League, then we have Anfield and then before the international break we have the chance against Newcastle to reach the semi-final of the FA Cup.

    “We worked so hard since we arrived here to live these kind of moments.”

    United’s form throughout most of the season has been unconvincing and they face a tall order to finish in the top four.

    Manager Erik ten Hag’s future has been the subject of recurring speculation but Guardiola refused to offer an opinion on the reasons for United’s failures to sustain momentum.

    The Spaniard said: “I expect the best from United but I don’t talk a word about what they do because I respect them too much and I don’t want my words to be misunderstood.

    “When I make comments people always say, ‘Pep jibe’ and it’s never my intention. That’s why it is better I don’t say anything.

    “I have a lot of respect for the institution, United, and the players and Erik, and when I see what we have to do my players will know it.”

  • Dixon's strike the difference between Reggae Boyz and Soca Warriors in opening friendly Dixon's strike the difference between Reggae Boyz and Soca Warriors in opening friendly

    Jamaica's senior Reggae Boyz drew first blood against their Trinidad and Tobago counterparts, as they registered a 1-0 win in the first of their two-match friendly series at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on Friday.

    Kaheim Dixon's 58th-minute strike proved the solitary goal of the contest which was played behind closed doors to facilitate preparation for the twin island republic's Carifta Games trials.

    Dixon, the former Clarendon College stalwart, was the first Reggae Boy to score on debut since Justin McMaster's feat against Cameroon in 2022.

    Reggae Boyz assistant coach Merron Gordon said their main objective to expose new talents were met as they fielded 13 debutants on the day.

    "Games like these are always tough playing against Trinidad and Tobago, but I think it was a good game. Both teams, I think had the same objective which was to expose these players as much as possible and I think we got that," Gordon said in a post-match interview.

    "When you see a player like Kahiem score a goal on his debut is amazing and these are the kind of things that we want for them to transition from schoolboy football into international football and I think he acquitted himself well, and young Jayden Hibbert in goal is a teenager as well so that augurs well for us," he added.

    The Jamaicans started well, and were more threatening in open play in the early exchanges, before Trinidad and Tobago's Soca Warriors found their rhythm. Though the first half ended goalless, it wasn't for a lack of trying, as both teams had looks at goal.

    In the 12th minute, Kaihim Thomas got the first effort off for the Soca Warriors from a distance, but Reggae Boyz goalkeeper Kemar Foster took flight to tip over.

    Alex Marshall, who proved a menace to the Soca Warriors's backline, responded for the Reggae Boyz, but his effort was parried by Adrian Foncette, in goal for Trinidad and Tobago.

    Jamaica's Reggae Boyz maintained the momentum on the resumption and again went close through Romeo Guthrie, whose shot was blocked by Foncette at his near post two minutes in.

    The deadlock was eventually broken when Dixon produced an intelligent run down the right channel, dismissed a defender and tucked home.

    They should have doubled the lead in the 65th when Sue-Lae McCalla found himself with space and time to fire home from Guthrie's corner, but somehow steered the effort wide.

    Seconds later, Marshall and Dixon connected well with the latter driving his right-footer into the sidenetting.

    The Reggae Boyz continued to apply consistent pressure but found the Soca Warriors defence in defiant mode, as a 69th-minute effort by Jason Wright from Andre Fletcher's pass, was charged down.

    A minute later, Devante Campbell played a perfect pass across the face of goal, but Wright couldn't apply finishing touch.

    Campbell also had a grand opportunity to get on the scoresheet in time added, when he found himself in a one-on-one situation with substitute goalkeeper Christopher Biggette, but his tame effort was swallowed up by the custodian, who left his line well.

    Despite the scoreline, Soca Warriors Head coach Angus Eve, took heart from the performance.

    "Not disappointed at all. Many of these players are playing at this level for the very first time and I think they acquitted themselves well and we were in the game for the most part, but we gave away a sloppy goal that proved the difference in the game. We want to give people exposure as you can see, we made minimum number of changes because we wanted to expose the young guys as much as possible. So, this is a good exercise for them to understand the pace of the game at this level going forward," Eve said.

    The teams will meet again on Sunday at the Larry Gomes Stadium in Arima at 3:00pm Jamaica time.

    NB: That game can also be seen live on SportsMax 

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