Cristiano Ronaldo: Star plays football with his kids
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Cristiano Ronaldo has been heavily linked with a move away from Juventus in recent times, with Real Madrid and Manchester United both linked. However, reports claim the Old Lady don’t intend to sit down with the 36-year-old for talks over his future. And that’s because they’re not contemplating selling the veteran when the transfer window reopens at the end of the campaign.
Ronaldo has been in fine form for Juventus, with the veteran scoring 23 goals from as many Serie A matches.
However, he’s been tipped to leave the Allianz Stadium behind in the wake of the club’s Champions League exit to Porto.
Manchester United’s name has been thrown into the ring for his signature, though Express Sport understands Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would prefer to shell out for other targets instead and doesn’t plan on pursuing his former team-mate.
Links to Real Madrid have been stronger, however, with Los Blancos lacking sparkle in attack ever since the Portugal international’s move to Juventus nearly three years ago.
Yet Eurosport say Juve won’t sit down for a meeting with Ronaldo over his future unless the player specifically asks for one.
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They’re determined to keep hold of the veteran, knowing he’ll make them plenty of money off the pitch and has the quality to drive them to success on it.
Juventus haven’t received any indications Ronaldo wants out.
And, if he does, he’ll have to drive it himself with the Old Lady having no desire to part ways with their talisman despite links to the contrary.
Juventus have other priorities, too.
Giorgio Chiellini’s time with the club appears to be winding down, with the Italy international primed to be a free agent at the end of the campaign.
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And Andrea Pirlo’s side also have a decision to make over iconic goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, who is widely expected to call time on his career this summer.
Zinedine Zidane mischievously fuelled talk of Ronaldo returning to Real, admitting rumours ‘could be true’.
“Yes, it may be [true],” Zidane told Sky in Italy, when asked about the rumours linking Ronaldo with a return to Real.
“We know Cristiano, we know the person he is and everything he has done here.
“But now he’s a Juventus player and we must respect this.
“Now, let’s see what the future will be. I was lucky enough to coach him and he is very impressive. Right now, he’s helping Juventus.”
Juventus chief football officer Fabio Paratici has laughed off talk of a potential move away, saying: “It makes me laugh.
“I never imagined Ronaldo could be put into question. I grew up in a small town and I heard people discussing [Michel] Platini, [Ganni] Rivera, [Roberto] Baggio, top players inside bars.
“Ronaldo won five Ballon d’ors, I don’t know how many Champions League titles. He won so many trophies and scored so many goals at Juventus.
“It’s a privilege to have him here, we are happy to have him here.
“He surely represents the future of Juventus.”
Juventus are next in action against Benevento on Sunday (2pm).
And they’ll be looking to boost their chances of catching Inter Milan at the top of the table.
Juventus have dominated Italian football in recent years but currently sit 10 points behind Antonio Conte’s side at the summit.
And defeat would all but end their hopes of winning the Scudetto for a 10th year on the trot.
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