Juventus preparing to put Cristiano Ronaldo up for sale next summer
Ronaldo vs Messi in the Manchester derby, anyone?
Juventus are planning to end the Cristiano Ronaldo project and will look to put the Portuguese forward up for sale next summer, according to reports in Spain.
AS reports that the Old Lady will try and sell Ronaldo a year before his contract expires, with the financial burden of the legendary striker too much for the club to bear given the current financial difficulties it's facing as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The rumours also come at a time when Ronaldo's leadership and contribution to Andre Pirlo's side are being widely questioned in Italy.
The 35-year-old came in for criticism from former Juve coach Fabio Capello last week after their Champions League win over Hungarian side Ferencvaros.
Despite winning that match 4-1, Capello questioned Ronaldo teamwork in comparison to his strike partner Alvaro Morata.
"Morata was generous and served Cristiano a goal in the first half that had anticipated a defender, although the play did not end in a goal. In the second half, Morata was waiting for the pass of Cristiano and it didn't happen. There was a bit of selfishness," he said.
Ronaldo was brought to the Allianz Stadium from Real Madrid for a fee of more than €100 million, with the express intention of helping Juve over the line to win the Champions League, a competition which - much like Paris Saint-Germain - has become something of an obsession for Juventus given their domination on the domestic front.
In his two European campaigns, however, Ronaldo has been part of Juve teams which have found themselves eliminated by Ajax, in 2018/19, and Lyon, last season.
The club will apparently look to recoup some of the fee paid to him, but given his age, the impact the pandemic has had on football finances, and the small number of clubs in a financial position/dumb enough to spend more than €50 million on someone in their mid-30s, it appears that Juve may be reliant on persuading Ed Woodward that it would be the deal of the lifetime for Manchester United.
That doesn't seem like it would be the most difficult thing to do, so perhaps - given Messi's unhappiness at Barcelona - we could be seeing Messi and Ronaldo face off in the Manchester derby soon enough.