To be clear, we're talking about the original Ronaldo. The greatest Ronaldo. "Fat" Ronaldo to all y'all disrespectful kids.
The 25-year-old Luis Muriel had been called the Colombian Ronaldo on occasion, especially back a few years ago when he looked to be next best thing to come out of Udinese (after they sold off Alexis Sanchez).
Luis Muriel, Udinese 12-13. This is the last season his stats bore the hype. Definitely needs a change of scenery pic.twitter.com/oxNtxcSVlc— Ted Knutson (@mixedknuts) January 7, 2015
Though Muriel has managed to replicate some of Ronaldo's weight issues, he's not quite managed to replicate Ronaldo's goal-scoring exploits (not even close). As that needed change of scenery, he transferred to Sampdoria from Udinese in January 2015 on a loan-to-buy for €12m.
"Muriel has everything it takes to become a champion. Since he arrived here he's played twice and scored two goals. He needs to train well and have the faith of his Coach. He needs to be constantly motivated, but should also be grateful to the club that did so much to get him here."
"He reminds me of Ronaldo, the Brazilian one, in many of his movements. He's still not 100 per cent fit, but is a great talent."
-Sinisa Mihajlovic, Sampdoria head coach, March 2015; source: Football Italia
Muriel does still exhibit some of the same powerful, aggressive techniques that his legendary idol was so well known for. He's off to a good start this season with 6 goals in 13 games in all competitions (after just 7 all last season) and 3 assists as well. And perhaps unsurprisingly, that means he's back in the rumor mill as well, with Napoli and Chelsea linked specifically in the last few days.
"Yes, there is an offer [from Chelsea], so they tell me. But Muriel is not for sale. For €35m we can talk."
-Massimo Ferrero; source: Fantagazzetta via Star
Sampdoria president Ferrero confirmed the €35m release clause earlier in the week as well when discussing Napoli's supposed interest ("Muriel not for sale")
Considering that rumors placed Chelsea's bid in the much more reasonable range of €15m, the €35m is quite the step up. Muriel could conceivably fit in as a support striker and occasional backup to Diego Costa, but we would certainly need to do some heavy negotiating to get him at anything close to a reasonable price.