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15th Jul 2018

Napoli claim they rejected the chance to sign Cristiano Ronaldo

Simon Lloyd

Cristiano Ronaldo is off to Juventus. You might have heard…

After a nine year stint with Real Madrid, Ronaldo has signed a four-year deal with the Italian champions and is set to be unveiled to the Turin club’s supporters on Monday.

In the end, it seems Juve had a clear run at signing the 33-year-old, with Paris Saint-Germain and former club Manchester United reportedly turning down the opportunity to buy him.

It’s now emerged that they weren’t the only clubs to reject a move for the Portugal captain, with Juve’s Serie A rivals Napoli also deciding against such a transfer.

Club chairman Aurelio De Laurentiis has claimed they had the opportunity to bring him to Stadio San Paolo, where he would have been reunited with his former Real manager, Carlo Ancelotti.

Despite discussions with Ronaldo’s agent, Jorge Mendes, Napoli reluctantly declined the chance to sign him over fears it would have been a financial disaster.

“Ronaldo had also been offered to Napoli,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“I called his agent, Jorge Mendes. We also formulated our offer and we would have paid Ronaldo with a percentage on the subsequent profits guaranteed by his arrival.

“The €350 million that Juventus will invest is beyond our reach, we would have risked pushing the club towards bankruptcy.”

Ronaldo’s arrival at Juventus hasn’t been well received by everyone. It was reported last week that workers at Fiat Chrysler’s factory in Melfi planned to strike from Sunday to Tuesday in protest at the money being spent on the deal.