Italian champions Juventus could be preparing for life without Cristiano Ronaldo amid reports that the Serie A side are to consider the Portuguese star’s future with the club as concerns grow about their hefty wage bill.
Thirty-five-year-old five-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo, who joined “The Old Lady” of Italian football in the summer of 2018 after an extended spell in the white of Real Madrid, currently earns around FIVE TIMES the salary of Juve’s next highest earner, Paulo Dybala, with a reported annual salary of $36.8 million.
This price could prove too hefty for the reigning Serie A holders, and according to a report by Spanish publication “Sport,” Juventus are discussing the idea of offloading their star in the summer rather than offering him an extension to his deal with expires in the summer of 2022.
It means that next summer could likely be the final opportunity to command a transfer fee for their most valuable asset.
Ronaldo has been an influential figure for the team since arriving in Turin more than two years ago, helping the team extend their run of successive Scudettos which now stands at nine in a row.
However, Juve boss Andrea Pirlo doesn’t appear to be consistently happy with the output of his forward line despite Ronaldo hitting the net on Saturday in his team’s 1-1 draw with Lazio, having slammed his strikers for being “selfish” in their recent Champions League tie with Ferencvaros.
“I talk to my players a lot, but they make the choices when they are on the pitch. They could’ve been less egotistical and killed off the game earlier,” Pirlo said of his team, despite them emerging from the game with a 4-1 away win.
“We are playing with two forwards plus two wide men. Once we get everyone in shape, we can evaluate who to use together. So far, not everyone has been at 100 percent, so it’s been normal to rotate them and leave one out.”
Ronaldo, meanwhile, picked up an ankle injury in Juventus’ weekend fixture with Lazio and was removed from the game with a quarter of an hour remaining after having given his side a first-half lead. The Portuguese star was later seen in the stands with an ice-pack strapped to his ankle.