News that Cristiano Ronaldo could be sold off to balance the books next summer left Juventus fans fearing the worst on Monday and PSG Director only made matters worse after he showed interest in the Portuguese legend, Ngmusicupdate reports.
Ronaldo earns five times more than his highest-paid team-mate Paulo Dybala and in a time when clubs have been forced to slash costs due to the coronavirus pandemic and made most top clubs in the verge on BANKRUPTCY, Ronaldo’s massive £28million-per-year wages raised question marks over how Juve will operate.
Following his £100m move from Real Madrid in 2018, the 35-year-old’s current deal takes him through until 2022 and comfortably makes him his club’s – and one of football’s – highest earners.
Paris Saint-Germain are one of the teams interested in the Portuguese forward as they continue their quest to add more star power to their already stacked squad.
When asked about Ronaldo’s potential availability, PSG sporting director Leonardo refused to dismiss a move out of hand, instead noting ‘something unforeseen can happen.’
He told PSGTV: ‘Today in football we do not know what will happen. Maybe tomorrow Cristiano Ronaldo wakes up and says I want to go play elsewhere.
‘Who can buy him? It’s a closed circle. PSG enters this circle. Usually it is about opportunities, situations.
‘The transfer window, we have to prepare for it and that’s what we do. We have our priorities, our lists, but something unforeseen can happen.’
Leonardo’s latest comments only add fuel to the fire with fans continuing to question where Ronaldo’s future lies.
And while reports continue to link him away from Juventus, the club’s hierarchy have other ideas.
At the Allianz Stadium, many of the higher-ups believe Ronaldo is worth his weight in gold and his influence both on and off the pitch crucially go hand-in-hand.
Juve chairman Andrea Agnelli wants to build on Ronaldo’s image as an icon of the sport – not just the club. The idea is that Agnelli wants to cling to Ronaldo to make Juve’s economic value skyrocket for sponsors is even more fascinating.
At least until June 2022, Ronaldo will honour his contract, with the idea to extend further should he decide to stay in Italy.
Ronaldo is desperate to win the Champions League in Turin, adding a sixth title to his collection, while reports of a possible farewell next summer have unnerved Agnelli and the management.
At the moment, no top European club is able to take on Ronaldo’s salary in this current climate. With this in mind, there is no risk of a split between club and player.
Ronaldo’s presence is a major selling point when it comes to recruiting potential transfer targets, while he remains a key asset in renewing big-money sponsorship deals.
Juventus recently managed to wrap up a multimillion-pound renewal deal with adidas, taking them through to the summer of 2027, which sees the sportswear giants now make the highest economic contribution in Italian football.
The new agreement is worth £362m (€408m) over eight years plus variable fees and royalties on sales. According to Gazzetta dello Sport, from this season, adidas will pay Juve £45m (€51m) a year.
A big part of this agreement can be attributed to Ronaldo’s presence in Turin, with the ex-Real Madrid star viewed as a gold mine in the club’s media expansion in Arab countries and Asian countries.
Insurance giant Allianz, who own the naming rights to the 41,000-seater stadium, also decided to extend their current deal beyond 2023 to 2030, which will see Juve rake in £91m (€103m) over the next 10 years.
Ronaldo, once again, played a part in making the deal possible, according to Corriere della Sera.
While he may boast, by far, the biggest salary in Italian football, it is offset by the large sponsorship contracts while the Old Lady reap the rewards from these deals and image rights.
Since making his move in 2018, Juventus have also managed to sell an incredible one million shirts with his name on the back – a feat not even matched in Italy even by the likes of Luis Figo, the Brazilian Ronaldo or Kaka.
So it’s clear to see his value to Juventus and it appears the feeling is mutual – for the time being.
While the target of Champions League glory is the team’s priority, personal scoring accolades are very much at the forefront of Ronaldo’s mind.
Having racked up 763 goals in not much more than 1,000 appearances over a stellar 18-year career, Ronaldo’s next target is to overtake Brazil’s legendary duo Pele (767) and Romario (772) in the all-time scoring charts.
Since joining Juve two years ago, Ronaldo has shown no signs of letting up, scoring 71 times for the club and looks like he has plenty more to give.
While he may have considered leaving during Maurizio Sarri’s tenure as boss, Ronaldo is a lot more comfortable playing under Andrea Pirlo.
Off the pitch, life could not be better for the Ronaldo family.
His welcome on arrival in Italy was compared to that of the Pope’s, while he and girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez are settled with his four children.
It is known that Ronaldo appreciated the media furore and also chose to invest several million euros in the purchase of a luxury yacht at the Viareggio shipyard.
There are several strands to Ronaldo’s still blossoming love affair with Juve and it doesn’t look set to cool any time soon.
He might eventually want to try something new as he enters the twilight of his career but for Juve, they won’t be parting with their prized asset just yet.