Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri says Cristiano Ronaldo has assured him he will be remaining at the Turin club despite a summer of speculation linking the star to potential moves to France, England and Spain.
Ronaldo, 36, is entering the last year of his contract with Juve and transfer talk has claimed the Portuguese icon’s agent, Jorge Mendes, has offered his clients services to Premier League champions Manchester City.
Elsewhere, the rumor mill has pointed to a potential return for Ronaldo to forming stomping grounds at Real Madrid and Manchester United, and even a possible link-up with Lionel Messi at Paris Saint-Germain.
Such is the fervent speculation that Ronaldo was compelled to issue a statement to his 330 million followers on Instagram this week in which the forward accused the media of “disrespect.”
“More than the disrespect for me as a man and as a player, the frivolous way that my future is covered in the media is disrespectful to all the clubs involved in these rumors, as well as to their players and staff,” read an angry rebuttal from the star, while not explicitly pledging his future to Juventus.
Responding to questions as to why CR7 didn’t feature in a pre-season friendly with the Juventus under-23 team earlier this week, Allegri has asserted that Ronaldo has told him he will remain with the Old Lady for this season.
“Ronaldo didn’t play on Thursday because we were coming off a heavy training workload and I gave him half a day off,” Allegri told reporters before Juve open their Serie A campaign at Udinese on Sunday.
“Ronaldo is an added bonus for us, because he guarantees a large number of goals. Obviously, we also have to work as a team to get the best out of an individual.
“He has always trained well, I just read the gossip in the papers. He never told us he wanted to leave.
“Ronaldo told me that he is staying at Juventus.”
Allegri has returned to the dugout at the Allianz Stadium after a two-year hiatus, having led Ronaldo and his teammates to the Scudetto in 2019, in what was the Portuguese star’s first season in Italy.
Allegri’s replacement Maurizio Sarri repeated that feat the following season – which was Juve’s ninth Serie A title in a row – although Sarri departed after a solitary campaign.
The move to replace Sarri with playing icon Andrea Pirlo backfired, however, as Juve limped to a disappointing fourth-place finish in the league last season as well as a last-16 exit in the Champions League, although they did win the Coppa Italia as consolation.
On the personal front, Ronaldo finished as Serie A top scorer for the first time in his three seasons in Italy, bagging 29 goals in 33 appearances in the league.