September 19, 2021

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Football and other sports news

Ronaldo has not shown signs he wants to leave Juventus

3 min read

Cristiano Ronaldo has not signalled that he wants to leave Juventus and will soon join up with his teammates for pre-season training, according to football director Federico Cherubini.

Portugal international Ronaldo is into the final year of the four-year contract he signed when joining from Real Madrid in a €112 million deal.

The 36-year-old has been tipped to leave Turin ahead of the new campaign, with former clubs Manchester United and Real Madrid among those to have been linked, along with Paris Saint-Germain.

Speculation over Ronaldo’s future comes amid a period of change at Juve, with Massimiliano Allegri returning as head coach and Cherubini replacing Fabio Paratici, while Maurizio Arrivabene has been named CEO.

However, speaking at a news conference on Thursday to officially mark his appointment, Cherubini dismissed recent reports that Ronaldo is looking to move on during the current transfer window.

“There has been no signal from Ronaldo,” he said. “Especially [on] the rumours that there should be a transfer. There’s no sign from Juventus in this regard.

“Last season he scored 36 goals in 44 games. The numbers don’t always say everything but hide many truths.

“We are happy that Ronaldo will join the team as soon as he has finished his holidays.”

Ronaldo is being given an extended break after featuring four times for Portugal at Euro 2020.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner could not fire the reigning European champions beyond the last 16, where they fell to Belgium, but he did score five times to equal Ali Daei as the leading all-time goalscorer in international men’s football on 109.

Ronaldo scored 29 times in 2020-21 to win the Capocannoniere, meanwhile, having previously also been the top scorer in the Premier League and La Liga.

Speaking about his club future ahead of Portugal’s ultimately underwhelming Euros campaign, Ronaldo said reports of interest from rival clubs were causing him “no sleepless nights”.

Asked to clarify if Ronaldo will still be a Juventus player in 2020-21, Cherubini said: “I don’t have a crystal ball. Right now, there are no signals regarding a possible transfer. But let me reaffirm: I’ll be happy if he stays.”

Juve announced on Thursday that a cash injection of €400 million has been sanctioned to help redress the financial damage wrought by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Italian club’s analysis of the cost of the pandemic’s impact suggests they are set to lose €320 million in total between 2019 and 2022.

President Andrea Agnelli, who led attempts to form a breakaway Super League, used Friday’s news conference to discuss the magnitude of the financial problems now facing football clubs in general.

“UEFA knows the whole situation in all leagues. UEFA estimates a liquidity need of around €8.5bn for the clubs,” he said.

“There’s a risk that around 120 clubs will be at risk of insolvency in the short term. Some operations have been announced on the debt side and I’m thinking of Barcelona, Inter, West Ham, Porto for significant amounts.

“Then there are capital increases such as Roma, Atletico Madrid and we are here too. We fit into this context. It’s important that the shareholders support the growth of this club.

“The ownership is one of the strengths of this club, I say this as president and a member of the family.”

Agnelli also reiterated that he expects Juventus to compete in the Champions League next season, despite the ongoing fallout from the Super League plans.

“We have calmly received the letter from UEFA admitting us to the next Champions League,” he said.

“On our part there’s a willingness to talk and we are not afraid of the threats that have been made in recent months and are convinced that legal actions will lead to successes.”

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