Juventus are looking to offload five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo in order to remove his enormous salary from their wage bill, and have offered him to clubs across Europe, even including one-time fierce rivals Barcelona, according to journalist and author Guillem Balague.
The 35-year-old joined Juventus from Real Madrid in 2018 for a new challenge after winning his fifth career Champions League title. He scored another 37 goals in 2019/20 to take his tally for the Italian champions to 65 in 89 games, but having him there remains a vast expense.
According to Balague, Ronaldo has been linked with a move because Juventus don’t want to have to keep paying his wages. It is said that he is therefore being touted to various clubs.
“The reason why Cristiano Ronaldo has been linked to PSG is not so because PSG are thinking of getting him, it’s because Jorge Mendes has been giving instructions to actually find a team for Ronaldo,” Balague, who wrote the 2015 biography Cristiano Ronaldo, said on BBC Radio 5 Live.
“We’ve seen this in the last six months. He was linked to Real Madrid [and] Real Madrid said, ‘No chance! He’s not coming back’. Talks about MLS etc, because Juventus want to get rid of that wage. It’s as drastic as that. He’s been offered everywhere, including Barcelona.”
For so many years as a Real Madrid player, Ronaldo was the ultimate enemy at Camp Nou, while his personal rivalry with Lionel Messi has dominated the global football narrative for over 10 years. Seeing him suddenly lining up alongside Messi at Camp Nou would be the ultimate twist.
It would never actually happen, but the chances of him going anywhere also appear extremely slim at most, even more so in the current financial climate.
“I’m not sure [Juventus] can get rid of him easily,” Balague commented. “In fact, with the kind of money he still earns, €23m net he was earning at Real Madrid – and I think he equalled his wages when he went to Juventus – who’s going to pay that kind of money?”