Chelsea could act on Aston Villa transfer call as Cristiano Ronaldo announcement made

Former Aston Villa star Stan Collymore advised Chelsea to consider signing Danny Ings or Ollie Watkins in the summer, but Blues manager Graham Potter is likely to have other plans to improve his squad.

Potter succeeded Thomas Tuchel earlier this month after the German was sacked by new Chelsea owner Todd Boehly. Chelsea were expected to move for a forward in the summer transfer window after Romelu Lukaku’s failed £97.5 million move from Inter Milan last year.

And they left it late to get a striker through the door as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang joined from Barcelona, but he was brought in to play under Tuchel given that they struck up a good relationship at Borussia Dortmund years ago. The 33-year-old doesn’t provide a long-term solution for Chelsea and Collymore thinks one of Villa’s number nines would have been better suited at Stamford Bridge.

“They should be looking for a 22-year-old or 23-year-old somewhere in Europe,” Collymore said in April. “If not, then maybe Watkins, or even his Villa strike partner Ings, if they’re happy to go older. “Because that kind of player would score 20 to 25 goals in that team and those goals would take Chelsea a big, big step closer to what they want to achieve.

“The question now will be: ‘Do the new owners want to compete?’ “If they do, then with players coming through and with Conor Gallagher back off loan, the future could be a bright one for the Blues.”

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Since Boehly has taken control of Chelsea, his ambition has been clear to see. The American billionaire spent £254m on eight new arrivals in the summer, but one signing he wanted to make, being Cristiano Ronaldo, didn’t materialise.

As Ronaldo has fallen out of favour with Ten Hag – and has not started any of the last four Premier League matches where the Red Devils won each time – he may consider leaving a large sum of money on the table in order to play in the Champions League.

“I think he [Ronaldo] can serve another club,” Former France defender Frank Leboeuf told ESPN. “I would have loved to have seen him play for Chelsea, I think Chelsea would have been good for him because he would have been served, I don’t know with [Erik] ten Hag how it’s going to work.

“I think he has enough money to go for free and I already talked about that when he was at Juventus, and he should have done that instead of trying to get more money, where everybody can agree that he has enough, especially with his endorsements.

“He doesn’t need a salary, let’s say, he can choose wherever he wants to go. Because everybody is going to be pleased to have a player like him, when they don’t have to pay him because he is going to serve. He can go to big, top clubs and I think he can serve the top clubs.

“If Chelsea can’t find the striker they want, if Aubameyang isn’t working for them, maybe he can go there if he goes for free. He would have the chance again to play in the Champions League, that’s what he wants. I wish him the best and I think he deserves the best because he has been one of the best, if not the best striker in the world.”

Ronaldo’s mother Dolores Aveiro has confirmed that Ronaldo plans to play two more seasons before retiring. Speaking to Nova Genta, Dolores said: “He has a strong desire to continue and to keep playing until he is 40.” That would take the striker up to the end of the 2024/25 campaign, which would signal 23 seasons at the top level of football.

Ronaldo said earlier this month at the Quinas de Ouro awards when outlining his future: “I hope to continue being part of the Portuguese international setup for a few more years. I feel motivated, my ambition is high. I am in a team with young people, I want to be in the World Cup but also in the next European Championships.”

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