Cristiano Ronaldo-Juventus rumors: Latest on Real Madrid star linked to Italy transfer and what to know
The Portuguese superstar could be on his way to Italy in a shocking move, according to European reports
With Portugal out of the 2018 FIFA World Cup after a loss to Uruguay in the round of 16, the annual Cristiano Ronaldo summer transfer saga is upon us. Ronaldo has been linked in the past with teams like Paris Saint-Germain and his former club, Manchester United, but the latest team connected with the Portuguese superstar is one he's done some damage against Juventus.
Spanish publication Marca reported last week that the Ronaldo is "moving further" away from the club, and that Real Madrid is obligated to accept a deal. The publication went as far as to say that he will be wearing the colors of Juventus next season, barring any late change.
Spanish program "El Chiringuito de Jugones" is reporting that the player will move to Juventus for $116.57 million.
As always during the transfer window, let's sort out this transfer fodder and give you everything you need to know:
What's the latest news?
The latest is that Juventus president Andrea Agnelli has reportedly traveled to Greece to meet with Ronaldo, who is there on vacation with his family, according to ESPN.
Luciano Moggi, the former Juventus CEO, once tried to sign Ronaldo as a teenager. Now, he's saying that it's a done deal. Here's what the 80-year-old told an Italian television station, per beIN Sports: "In my opinion, he has already signed and passed the medical examination with Juventus in Munich."
"This is what I think after talking to important people."
Moggi, bear in mind, resigned from Juventus in 2006 and swore off soccer for his involvement in Italy's massive refereeing scandal.
However, there are other reports that indicate that a deal is very much in place. Portuguese publication Record is reporting that Juventus has a four-year contract worth $35 million annually, not to mention a $116.57-million buyout. Neymar's $259.48-million buyout from Barcelona to go to Paris St. Germain last summer is still the largest that a club has triggered, however.
Per Record: "[Real Madrid president] Florentino Perez summoned [Ronaldo's agent] Jorge Mendes for an emergency meeting, which lasted until dawn with a conclusion: Ronaldo finally closed the door on Real Madrid, as Record reported in the June 1 edition, and accepted Juventus' proposal."
Juventus is keeping silent on the negotiations, with GM Giuseppe Marotta saying "I will not speak" per ESPN when pressed on whether or not Juventus fans can consider Ronaldo to their team a done deal by a Sky Sports Italia reporter.
Why would Ronaldo leave Real Madrid?
Ronaldo has had several rocky offseasons and has been linked with a move away from Real Madrid all the time. He's won everything there is to win at the club, and maybe he wants another challenge. After winning the Champions League title for the third consecutive season,:
It was very nice to be at Real Madrid ... In the coming days I will give a response to the fans, who have always been at my side.
It's worth noting that the very next day at Real Madrid's victory parade and before reporting to the Portuguese national team training camp leading up to the start of the World Cup, Ronaldo vaguely hinted that he could be back at Madrid next season. He was heard saying on the microphone, "until next year," at the end of the event.
It remains to be seen if there was a deeper fallout between the star player and the club directory over the last month. But in all seriousness, perhaps he's seeking a change of scenery after accomplishing everything possible at Real Madrid, and especially after dodging prison time for tax evasion in Spain.
What would the transfer mean for Juventus?
The Italians would be getting the most in-form attacker in the world. He was exceptional at the World Cup and even at the age of 33, he's got plenty of gas left in the tank due to his phenomenal shape. With the potential exit of Gonzalo Higuain, Juventus would need a star man in the final third as it looks to get over the hump and win the Champions League. And for $116.57 million, it's a steal even in this market, considering he went for €94 million to Real Madrid in 2009. With this market, he's a player worth at least €175 million.
What would his departure mean for Real Madrid?
The golden era of the new millennium may be coming to an end at the Bernabeu if this happens. Sergio Ramos doesn't have much left (as we've witnessed at the World Cup), Zinedine Zidane, and there are plenty of question marks. You can count on Real Madrid buying some great players to replace him if a move goes through.
Something official. These reports could turn out to be true or quite the opposite. Ronaldo hasn't publicly said whether or not he wants to leave. So, only time will tell. He's on vacation now after Portugal was eliminated from the World Cup, and we'll have to keep an eye on what happens over the next few weeks. Players are expected to join their clubs at the end of the month for preseason, and whether Ronaldo shows up in Madrid will tell us plenty.
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