In what seemingly appears to be one of the most interesting transfer windows in quite a long time, the uncertainty around the future of Real Madrid galactico Cristiano Ronaldo continues to fill up column inches and sidebar trackers.
The list of potential suitors for the Portuguese superstar continues to grow, with Chelsea rumoured to be the latest team to throw their hat into the ring. And, in Real Madrid’s long standing admiration of Eden Hazard, the London team would appear to possess the most relevant bargaining chip of all.
The Blues have been engulfed in what was reported to be differences of opinion within the boardroom, with some papers going as far as to suggest that manager Antonio Conte would consider walking away over a lack of summer investment.
A wildcard move for Ronaldo, notwithstanding the potential departure of Hazard in the opposite direction, will be a huge statement of intent towards keeping their league winning manager and arming him sufficiently ahead of the new Champions League season.
Realistically, however, the Russian oligarch would have to fight off competition from Europe, China, and the MLS, not to mention domestic rivals Man Utd, long mentioned as the favorites to land Ronaldo should he choose to leave the Spanish capital this summer.
The man at the centre of all the attention himself has been known to retain a soft spot for his former team in the past, and would favour a return for personal reasons.
All of this, of course, continues to remain mere speculation at this point, and the multiple Ballon d’Or winner could well choose to extend his stay at the Bernabeu if his tax fraud case takes a turn for the better in the coming days.
Whatever the outcome, it promises to be an interesting summer for managers, agents, and fans alike.
Written by Naren Madan
Freelance writer with an insatiable appetite for all things football. Up the Chels!