Juventus are understood to be pondering a move to sell Cristiano Ronaldo next summer as they try and balance the books amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Ronaldo 35, remains Juve’s highest-paid player by a long way. In fact his current £28m salary is five times more than Juve’s next highest-paid player Paulo Dybala.
The Portugal star is under contract until June 2022, but such is the Serie A club’s financial plight they are considering recouping some of the £105m they spent on the forward in 2018.
That’s the story coming from Goal journalist Romeo Agresti, via Spanish paper Sport.
It’s certainly not the first time this year that sale talk surrounding Ronaldo has emerged.
In August the French outlet claimed Ronaldo’s agent had opened talks over a surprise transfer to Paris Saint-Germain.
Juventus were eliminated from the Champions League at the quarter-final stage for the second year in succession. That apparently did not gone down well with Ronaldo, and it was believed that a move would suit both parties.
However, a transfer was not forthcoming, and Juventus president Andrea Agnelli dismissed the talk.
“He’s going to stay with us,” Agnelli told Sky Sport. “I’m sure that Cristiano will play for Juventus next season. He’s a pillar of this team.”
But next summer could be a different story and the Covid-19 crisis has much to do with Juve’s thinking.
The Serie A champions posted losses of €71.4m for the year ending June, 30, 2020. A rise of €31.5m on their previous financial results.
They saw year-on-year revenues fall from €621.4m to €573.4m and posted their their third straight year in the red.
It has led to alarm bells ringing in Turin and Ronaldo could be sold next summer to ease that burden, claims the reporter.
Pirlo critical of selfish Ronaldo
There have also been some playing issues too. Boss Andrea Pirlo critical of Ronaldo following their recent Champions League victory against Ferencvaros.
“I talk to my players a lot, but they make the choices when they are on the pitch. They could’ve been less egotistical and killed off the game earlier,” he told Sky Sports Italia.
“We are playing with two forwards plus two wide men. Once we get everyone in shape, we can evaluate who to use together. So far, not everyone has been at 100 per cent, so it’s been normal to rotate them and leave one out.”
Ronaldo did get on the scoresheet in the 1-1 draw with Lazio on Sunday – a game which saw them concede in the 95th minute.
Ronaldo was replaced on 76 minutes, but Pirlo has confirmed the former Man Utd man picked up an injury which forced him off in Rome.