Football Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates with the trophy after the UEFA Champions League final

Published on July 7th, 2018 | by Paco Polit

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Why Ronaldo to Juventus could be the Real deal this summer

🕓 Reading time:3 minutes

Every summer sees a new Cristiano Ronaldo leaving Real Madrid story – and every summer it’s a dud. But Paco Paco says that CR7 going to Juventus could be the real deal 

This summer, the expected Ronaldo drama speaks Italian… and could be for real

Once the summer heat comes around, it has become a kind of tradition to put Cristiano Ronaldo front and center regarding his future, his mood and his contractual situation with Real Madrid. It has happened almost every single year since he signed for Real in June 2009, now nine-years-ago.

At that time, the record-breaking $110 million paid for him showed just how much Real Madrid were desperate to add one of the most talented players in the world to their roster. Almost a decade later and after adding a few Ballon d’Ors and Champions Leagues to both their trophy shelves, it seems that this will be the summer where their paths diverge.

In the last couple of seasons it has been French powerhouse Paris Saint-Germain who tried luring the player in, and all the ruckus allowed Cristiano to score huge salary bumps in the four or five contract revisions that he has signed in his Real stint. Things were working out at that point: Los Blancos regained dominance in Europe (with four out of the last five Champions Leagues conquered) and Ronaldo was a key player in almost all of their wins. The relationship between both was as symbiotic as they come.

But Real might be the only party in the world with hunger for new blood and smashing records even bigger than Cristiano’s, and the feeling inside the club is ultimately pushing for a reboot in the superstar status quo. President Florentino Pérez has had his eyes on Neymar Jr. for a long time, even though Killian M’bappé’s breakthrough season in PSG after his loan move from AS Mónaco and his excellent World Cup so far has piqued the tycoon’s interest lately.

Enter Juventus FC. As usual, the first warning came from a leak to a few Italian outlets (which could or couldn’t come straight from Gestifute, Jorge Mendes’ juggernaut football agency which has managed Cristiano’s business since he was a teenager) talking about a shocking move to the Serie A’s ‘Vecchia Signora’ as soon as this week. Rumblings had been there for a while, but only now all the pieces in the puzzle began fitting together.

A verbal agreement between Pérez and the player was unveiled: allegedly, in early 2008 Cristiano had gotten Florentino’s word that, in case he would want to leave that summer, his humungous buyout clause ($1,175 million) wouldn’t be a problem. Real would be ready to let him go for a ‘tiny’ fee of around $117 million. That pact, however, was shot down by Real itself in an official statement.

Like busy bees, Juventus have been working overtime over the last few months to set up everything towards this move. There have been calls and meetings between the Agnelli family, other top shareholders and Cristiano’s agent, one of the few individuals capable of getting such a tough job done. The first shockwaves came unexpectedly in the stock market: Juve has been asked to clarify on their position regarding Cristiano due to the huge surge in their share value over the last three days since the news broke regarding their plans to buy the striker.

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The player himself is now enjoying his holiday after Portugal’s KO from the World Cup. He is buying his time and planning the next step on his career. The timing isn’t coincidence. Once he is back from his vacation, Ronaldo wants to improve his salary one way or another: he can do it with Real Madrid if Los Blancos agree to pay him the reported salary they would pay Neymar if he came to Spain, or he can achieve it in Italy’s biggest and most powerful side.

Real expects to bump up the final figure to a cool $140 million, although the asking price is more or less set at $117 million. Agnelli expects Jorge Mendes to confirm that sum as the tag they will have to pay for the player. The deal seemed to pick up speed this week, though it might slow down in the next few days if all the parties involved aren’t on the same page.

This isn’t just a huge sport transfer: it’s a whole business on its own, involving image rights, royalties and many other little nooks and crannies that must be sorted out. However, one thing does seems clear: this time, Cristiano isn’t bluffing.

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About the Author

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Paco Polit is a Valencia-based journalist with over ten years experience reporting La Liga, covering both Valencia CF and Levante's news, signings, ups and downs. Madrid and Barcelona are huge, indeed, but the Spanish La Liga is much, much more: regarded as the top football competition in the world, he enjoys explaining why to every reader from abroad.



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