Football

Juventus set to spark Cristiano Ronaldo scramble as star returns to training

Cristiano Ronaldo is set to stay at Juventus this season, but his future beyond that is unclear.

Last week, Gazzette dello Sport claimed Ronaldo had decided to stay at Juventus for the 2021-22 campaign.

The Portugal international was believed to be frustrated at the end of the season. Former Juve boss Andrea Pirlo benched him because of “fatigue” for their final game of the season.

Ronaldo was left out of the Old Lady’s side that secured their place in the Champions League with a 4-1 win over Bologna.

“It was a shared decision, Ronaldo was tired after Wednesday’s game, so I decided to start [Alvaro] Morata, another great player,” Pirlo said.

Ronaldo was available, I have a deep squad, and I can pick many different players.”

The 36-year-old then posted on Instagram to say he had accomplished everything he had wished to achieve since arriving in Italy.

Those comments led to speculation over his future, despite the superstar having another 12 months on his deal in Turin.

Now though Sky Italy’s Paolo Aghemo claims Juventus won’t offer Ronaldo a new deal next summer.

Aghemo believes Ronaldo’s wages are too expensive. But believes the player is happy to stay in Turin this season after returning to training.

Juve’s vice-chairman Pavel Nedved has echoed the view that Ronaldo is staying.

“Ronaldo has been called up for July 26. He will be back on Monday and will stay with us,” he told Sky Sport after their friendly win against Cesena.

 

Ronaldo had been given extra time off following his exploits for Portugal at Euro 2020, where he finished as the tournament’s top scorer.

The attacker’s longer term future looks cloudy.

Sky Sports report that Ronaldo “is costing Juventus £52m a year” and he earns £25m per annum after tax.

The Covid-19 pandemic has crippled a number of clubs across Europe and Juve are one of those badly affected.

The Bianconeri avoided missing out on the Champions League. That would have meant a 90m hit. But having posted losses of €113m for the first half of the 2020-21 financial year their books are still in a perilous position.


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Man Utd links

The Portugal captain, who bagged 29 Serie A goals from 33 outings in 2020-2021, was linked with a return to Man Utd.

Earlier in the summer it was suggested by Tuttosport that Paul Pogba could be used in a deal for Ronaldo. The Frenchman’s second stint at the Theatre of Dreams has not been as he would have hoped.

Pogba also looks unlikely to extend his deal at United and so could walk away for free next summer.

Even if Pogba were not included in any deal, Corriere dello Sport claimed United are offering Ronaldo €17m a season to return.

READ MORE: Manchester United looking to offload Louis van Gaal signing with rivals ‘interested’

 

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