Cristiano Ronaldo and his Portuguese teammates might have crashed out of the World Cup, this however has not stopped the star from generating plenty of attention, as reports emerged on Tuesday linking him with a stunning move from Real Madrid to Italian side Juventus.
Ronaldo, the reigning Ballon d’Or winner – awarded to the world’s best player – could sign with the Serie A champion in a deal worth $145 million, according to Spanish television show “Jugones,” a report picked up by multiple outlets
However, this is a saga that may still have some distance to run.
There has been a growing sense that his time in Madrid has come to its natural end. Last season, Ronaldo won his fourth Champions League title with the club and has become frustrated that his salary is lower than that of his great rival, Barcelona’s Lionel Messi.
It would still be a significant surprise if Ronaldo ends up in Turin, or indeed if he signs anywhere before the end of the World Cup – even with Portugal having bowed out to Uruguay in the round of 16.
There are other teams that have designs on him if he leaves Madrid, especially Paris St. Germain and Manchester United. He spent six years at United early in his career and has long been linked with a return there, while PSG has shown its willingness to invest huge sums in elite talent, after making Neymar the world’s most expensive player a year ago.
Madrid president Florentino Perez went on the record to state that the aftermath of Portugal’s World Cup exit was not the right time to discuss Ronaldo’s future. Given that the player’s agent, Jorge Mendes, is a close ally of the Agnelli family that owns Juventus, the possibility remains that this is a power play to help Mendes get things moving over a new contract.
Either way, just because Ronaldo is no longer in soccer’s biggest tournament, he is still firmly on the radar.