ROME, Italy – While Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure from Manchester City remains suspended on a formal offer from the English club, Juventus started their life on Friday without “CR7”, a central player for three years but which has become a bit burdensome for Turin’s finances .
Ronaldo has informed Juventus that he “no longer intends” to stay in Turin, coach Massimiliano Allegri announced in the early afternoon. Less than a week after ensuring that the five-time Golden Ball would honor his fourth and final year of contract.
If Juventus has resolved to leave Ronaldo, they do not intend to let him go for free: the Turinese want compensation of 25 to 30 million euros to release the star before the end of his contract, in June 2022, according to media.
“We have to thank Ronaldo for what he did, including as an example for young people. But we must move forward, ”said Allegri. In view of the intentions of CR7, who did not train on Friday, the coach will not call him up for the game against Empoli on Saturday.
The last image of the Portuguese on a Serie A lawn will therefore remain that of last Sunday in Udine (2-2): Ronaldo shirtless, exulting for a goal in added time which will finally be refused for a millimeter offside.
As a harbinger of a new Juve, it was from the sidelines, as a surprise substitute but rather conciliatory and smiling, that he had first seen Juve start their season without him.
The message sent by Allegri was crystal clear: the 36-year-old striker, on whom the development – sporting and commercial – of Juve has been based since 2018, was no longer quite at the center of the bianconero project.
On the pitch, Allegri has now handed over the keys to the team (and the armband) to 27-year-old Argentinian Paulo Dybala. And the future now belongs to the young people recruited in recent seasons: Federico Chiesa, Dejan Kulusevski, Manuel Locatelli, Matthijs de Ligt …
The heavy presence of Cristiano Ronaldo, almost irremovable holder and essential scorer in recent seasons (101 goals in 134 matches), has sometimes been a brake on the development of a new Juventus. Coaches Maurizio Sarri (2019-20) then Andrea Pirlo (2020-21) have never succeeded in renewing the game of a team too dependent on the performances – and sometimes the moods – of “CR7”.
Off the field, Ronaldo has taken the Juve brand to a new level, both in terms of global visibility and revenue from ticketing and sponsorship, with contracts revised upwards with Adidas and Jeep.
But it also weighs heavily on finances, weakened by the health crisis linked to COVID-19. “CR7” costs the club some 86 million euros each year, between his non-standard salary (31 M EUR net, 57 M EUR gross) and the amortization of the investment made in 2018 to bring him from Real Madrid ( 115 M EUR, or nearly 29 M EUR per season until 2022).
Beyond the figures, the real disappointment of the Ronaldo-Juventus marriage remains the Champions League with three early eliminations (in the quarterfinals, then the round of 16 twice).
But the “Cup with big ears” was clearly the shared objective, between a player who dreams of winning a 6th Golden Ball to equal his great rival Lionel Messi and a club which remained on two failures in the final in 2015 and 2017.
“The record tells us that Juventus gave Ronaldo more than what the big no 7 brought to the Bianconeri,” said Gazzetta dello Sport in an editorial. “Saying goodbye to Ronaldo is hard for everyone to digest, but if no one is really convinced, it’s better to leave immediately. “
Although the transfer remains on hold until Juventus has a financial proposal from the “Citizens” in hand, the Bianconeri have gone in search of a new striker.
In the media were quoted the names of Brazilian Gabriel Jesus, in the case of a possible exchange with City, but also those of Italian Moise Kean, returned to Everton after a season on loan at Paris SG, from the Argentinian Mauro Icardi (PSG), Serbian Luka Jovic (Real Madrid) and young Italian Giacomo Rapadori.
A casting that looks like “speed dating”, knowing that the transfer window ends Tuesday evening.