Hold on to your hats, people. This one is gathering pace.
Real Madrid are on the verge of accepting a €100m bid from Juventus for Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo, and the player himself is believed to be open to the move as he grows “increasingly far” from the European champions.
It’s strange to think about. If anyone has ever considered Ronaldo’s genuine potential to move, they’ve only ever looked as far as Paris Saint-Germain or linked him to a long awaited return to Manchester United. But as of right now, his next destination would be neither of these two clubs – and instead, the reigning Italian champions.
Ronaldo’s future has been the subject of intense speculation for years. But the Portuguese star threw his future into a world of uncertainty shortly after lifting the Champions League trophy in May, claiming that he would “update fans on his future in the next few days” after sitting and enjoying the triumph.
Ronaldo initially backtracked on his comments, but speculation remains. The curious thing this time, though, is that all of the talk being pedalled about his exit is coming from Madrid mouthpieces in the press. One major update came on Tuesday morning.
El Chiringuito TV reported on Tuesday that the Old Lady have submitted a €100m bid for the 33-year-old, and that Los Blancos will accept it. Marca go on to echo those claims, and step it up further by reporting they will pay him €30m a year until 2022. This money, at least according the report, is manageable for the Turin-based giants.
Marca also claim that Ronaldo – who did have a €1bn release clause in his contract – is in possession of documentation that could allow him to leave for much, much less (the quoted €100m, perhaps) should he wish to do so. One of the stipulations in the documentation is that Real can choose not to sell to a direct rival – but how that is defined remains to be seen.
Italian outlet Tuttosport, meanwhile, are reporting that the five-time Ballon d’Or winner is considering leaving Real and joining Juve, as the Serie A champions draft out a plan which would leave them financially capable of signing him. Ronaldo is intrigued, and is said to be motivated by the notion of him leading the side to Europe’s summit for the first time since 1996.
Another thing to consider is Ronaldo is believed to be desperate to escape Spain following his tax fraud scandal. The winger-turned-striker feels as though he hasn’t received enough support from his current club in light of the situation, and has demanded a new contract that drastically increases his wages if he is to stay.
Madrid, who continue to be linked with a move for Neymar, are believed to be willing to let him go, and Ronaldo’s sale would help fund a move for the Brazilian (as well as free up a space on the pitch).
€100m for a man who turns 34 in Feburary would be something quite incredible, and it would open the door for Los Blancos to go full steam ahead on Neymar, too.
Of course, they don’t want him though.