Ever since Juventus’ elimination from the Champions League, speculation surrounding the future of Cristiano Ronaldo has went into overdrive.
Depending on the newspaper you read, Ronaldo could be going anywhere from Man Utd to Real Madrid to Inter Miami. However, a recent edition of Italian newspaper Tuttosport ran with a headline suggesting that Ronaldo could be in line for a move to PSG.
The idea is that Ronaldo’s former side Madrid will make an attempt to buy PSG’s Kylian Mbappe this summer, and should the deal happen, the Parisians in turn will look to sign Ronaldo in order to fill the Mbappe-shaped whole in their attack. PSG, writes Tuttosport, would offer striker Mauro Icardi in a direct swap for Ronaldo.
Given the alternatives, the PSG link represents the most realistic option for Ronaldo at this stage of his career. The Portuguese striker has repeatedly ruled out lucrative moves to lesser leagues in the past, stating the belief that he can continue playing at the highest level until his 40th birthday.
It’s clear that despite nearing a century of goals for Juventus in less than three years, the move hasn’t produced the desired results on the pitch. Furthermore, it’s equally as clear that the Italian giants can no longer afford his crippling $36 million-a-season salary in light of the on-going pandemic.
A move to PSG would give Ronaldo the opportunity to continue playing in the Champions League, the one trophy he craves above all else, whilst simultaneously earning the kind of figures he’s presently being paid by Juventus.
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By his own admission, Ronaldo is obsessed with the Champions League, and if he had it his way, he’d only play in Europe’s premiere competition, rather than trotting out for mundane league fixtures.
The ultimately sad irony of Ronaldo’s transfer to Juve is that they’ve regressed due to his presence, despite the 36-year-old holding up his end of the bargain in the Champions League during his first two seasons at the club. Ronaldo was viewed as the missing piece in the jigsaw, but in truth they still had several pieces missing, even if the club failed to acknowledge so.
A potential move to the French capital would see Ronaldo stand a better chance of winning his sixth Champions League trophy than seeing out the final year of his contract in Italy. Juve are currently in the midst of a huge rebuilding project, which needs time and patience, something Ronaldo can’t afford. In fact, there is a real possibility that they mightn’t even qualify for the tournament next season, such is the competition for the Champions League places in Serie A.
Despite reports that Ronaldo is happy with life in Turin, there is evidently frustration at how the season is panning out. He was captured throwing his shirt to a ballboy in the aftermath of Juve’s 3-1 win against Genoa on Sunday. However Ronaldo missed his target, and the shirt landed on the turf, prompting some backlash from fans on social media.
Juve’s sporting director Fabio Paratici is adamant Ronaldo will remain at the club next season and see out his contract. Yet it’s been reported that the club need to raise $120m before the end of June in order to get their half-year financial report in order, and therefore it seems logical that they will try to move Ronaldo on.
A move to PSG would represent a win-win situation for everyone: PSG buy a bonafide superstar who can deliver on-and-off the pitch, Ronaldo joins a side more likely to win in Europe, and Juve’s bank balance can breathe a little lighter.
It doesn’t necessarily mean the move will happen, but it’s the one that makes the most sense.