Summer switch – Cristiano Ronaldo to leave Juventus?

Cristiano Ronaldo’s contract at the Bianconeri runs until next summer but there have been rumours that he could be set for a sensational return to either Real Madrid or Manchester United. A move to Paris Saint Germain also appears to be a possibility.

The commonly held view is that the Portuguese icon will want to leave Juve if they don’t qualify for next season’s Champions League. The nine-times-in-a-row Serie A champions currently sit fourth in the league table. They are only holding on to the final Champions League place on goal difference from AC Milan though with five games to play this season. The Scudetto is meanwhile all but gone with Inter Milan holding a 13 point lead over the soon to be deposed league champions.

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Ronaldo has scored 25 times in 29 league games this season. He has not netted in his last three games though and was roundly criticised for his performance in Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Fiorentina.

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has said that Ronaldo will not be returning to the Bernabéu this summer. Juventus’s Chief Football Officer Fabio Paratici has stated that Ronaldo will not leave this summer. Ronaldo is on record as saying that he does not want to play in the Europa League, so Juve’s final position in this season’s Serie A is important.

Juve head coach Andrea Pirlo’s job also appears to be under threat. He stopped short of criticising Ronaldo following the draw against relegation threatened Fiorentina on Sunday night saying:

I don’t think Ronaldo did badly. He had a few chances and overall was not bad.

The man who has been in the Juve managerial hotseat for less than ten months focused more on the performance of the team as a whole:

We should’ve attacked the space more as a team and we did see some of that in the second half, as Fiorentina had a high line.

Portugal national team head coach Fernando Santos has been asked if he’d have advice to give to Ronaldo on his future, and said:

I give advice to Cristiano personally. I was his head coach when he was 18, and we have a close relationship. We talk a lot, but these are private conversations between friends.

Thirty-six year-old Ronaldo has scored 97 goals in 128 appearances in all competitions for Juventus. He has won two Serie A titles as well as two Supercoppa Italiana titles since joining The Old Lady back in July 2018.

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