Ronaldo interest contradicts Abramovich principles

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On Saturday, Cristiano Ronaldo registered 100 league goals in Spain faster than any player in history but, it would appear, all is not necessarily well at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Ronaldo scored his 100th and 101st goals in his 92nd La Liga appearance during a 5-1 victory against Real Sociedad, but still finds his future as a Real Madrid player called into question.

On the face of it, Ronaldo has a perfectly happy existence in Madrid having scored 45 goals this season alone and with domestic glory seemingly in the bag for Los Blancos for the first time since 2008.

However, the 27-year-old has frequently been linked with a move away from Madrid, with problems ranging from poor relations to with club's fans to a strained relationship with some of his teammates.

Manchester United are reported to have been chief among those sides monitoring the situation of the Portuguese, while Manchester City have also been credited with interest in his signature.

And now, according to The Telegraph, Chelsea are contemplating a summer bid for Ronaldo as Roman Abramovich makes plans to overhaul his playing squad.

It is claimed the Chelsea owner is keen to bring both Ronaldo and clubmate Gonzalo Higuain to Stamford Bridge during the transfer window, and is planning a huge offer of €100 million to test Real's resolve.

Abramovich is used to using his substantial financial clout to get what he wants although, in this instance, he may have set himself an unachievable task.

It does, however, demonstrate that the Russian is somewhat confused as to which transfer policy he should adopt during the summer transfer window.

Last year represented an uncharacteristic change in tact in the market from Abramovich, as he favoured the investment in youth rather than breaking the bank to sign any marquee names.

This was, of course, in part attributed to the fact he has at least on eye on the imminent Financial Fair Play regulations, but also because he appeared intent on building a dynamic young Chelsea side that could flourish under the tutelage of Andre Villas-Boas.

The Portuguese was tasked with rebuilding Chelsea during a three year 'project'; overseeing the transition from reliance on the old guard to faith in a more thriftily assembled youthful outfit.

For a man so renowned for dismissing his managers after the slightest hint of failure, it was an admirable ploy by Abramovich to seemingly - albeit temporarily - forgo the idea of success in the pursuit of creating a side for the future.

But, as it transpired, Villas-Boas failed to convince his boss that he was the man to spearhead the next stage of Chelsea's development, and was relieved of his duties after only eight months in charge.

One suspects this was more to do with the 34-year-old upsetting the apple cart at Stamford Bridge somewhat, rather than Abramovich abandoning his new found principles less than a year after adopting them.

Whether or not he has in fact done the latter will become more apparent in the summer, both with the appointment of a new manager and his conduct in the transfer market.

But, if Abramovich still holds true the ideals of constructing a side for the future and within the parameters of the FFP rules, then formalising his interest in Ronaldo would contradict any such principles.

In terms of playing talent, Ronaldo would certainly be a risk free investment, but Abramovich is in danger of seeing Chelsea hit by Uefa sanctions, should the west London club fail to break even.

It is extremely unlikely Chelsea will be able to publish figures showing they are operating in the black if Abramovich plans to spend at least €100 million on new recruits at the end of the season.

After a number of years among English football's heavyweights, Chelsea remain a club in transition and Abramovich must decide how he intends to herald in a new era in west London.

The appointment of Villas-Boas will be deemed a failure, and the Russian oligarch may be loath to adopt a similar tactic when he comes to naming his next manager.

Signing Ronaldo would represent a return to Abramovich's 'Galactico' mentality; something which has provided Chelsea varying degrees of success in the past.

Only Abramovich can decide which strategy will is the best way forward, and this summer could prove to be one his most pivotal since acquiring the club almost nine years ago.

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