Cristiano Ronaldo is ‘unhappy’ at Juventus and is willing to take a pay cut to return to Manchester United, reports claim.
Italian outlet Gazzetta dello Sport and ESPN report that Juve would let the Portuguese legend go for a figure around the £25 million mark, while the player himself would settle for a £320,000 per week salary to rejoin the Red Devils.
‘Ronaldo, 36, has a contract until June 2022 which earns him a reported €31 million [£27m] a year,’ ESPN notes.
‘But he is unhappy and keen to move on from Turin as the club have struggled in both the Serie A title race and the Champions League.
‘Juventus are in financial trouble, so are willing to sanction the Portugal international’s exit, but only for a minimum fee of €29m [£25m] to help them balance the books.
‘The club would also reportedly consider including Ronaldo in a swap deal for United midfielder Paul Pogba, though that move is more complex.
‘Ronaldo is still one of the world’s best players so isn’t keen to drop his salary below €20m [£17m] a year.’
It is a eye-watering amount of money to pay for a 36-year-old with one year left on his contract, but this is Ronaldo. It would also represent a very interesting solution to United’s search for a right winger and striker.
But it is not just the great man’s age that would make this a huge gamble. His recent form at Juve has shown a slight dip by his usual standards and he was fairly anonymous in both legs as the Old Lady was knocked out of the Champions League by FC Porto recently.
The idea of a swap deal for Pogba, meanwhile, has some logic but as ESPN notes, it would be extremely difficult to arrange, given both players’ huge commercial value and other factors, such as the involvement of Pogba’s notoriously greedy agent, Mino Raiola.