Cristiano Ronaldo is approaching a potential return to Real Madrid with caution. The Juventus star has not ruled out a move at the end of the season and his former club, along with Manchester United and PSG, would be the most likely destinations if he did decide to leave Turin.
Juve are understandably keen to hold on to their prized asset but may be tempted to sell at the right price with the Serie A champions needing to balance the books when the 2020-21 campaign is concluded.
According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Ronaldo will defer any decision on his future until the end of the season. The Portuguese and the Juve board are scheduled to sit down in the summer to discuss future signings, the Andrea Pirlo project and the club’s commitments.
Ronaldo is eager to wait until he has listened to what Juve have to say before making any plans of his own beyond June. The 34-year-old is under contract at the Juventus Stadium until 2022 and the board have not ruled out offering an extension to keep him at the club beyond then but Juve’s Champions League exit and the possibility they will fail to win the Scudetto this season mean the club will have some persuading to do.
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While Ronaldo is biding his time over making a decision on his Juventus future, La Gazzetta throws in an interesting bit of speculation as to what demands he may impose to remain in Turin, which could be described as the ‘Benzema factor.’ The Portuguese is not going to demand that Juventus provide the Frenchman, who was such an instrumental part of Ronaldo’s goal-scoring prowess at the Bernabéu, but a player who shares similar characteristics to the Madrid number nine.
Much will depend on how Juve finish the season, with Pirlo’s best chance of silverware coming in the Coppa Italia final against Atalanta on 19 May. Even if Juventus win the domestic cup competition for the first time since 2018 it may not be enough to smooth the ruffled feathers of the team’s star players, who have become accustomed to success in Italy as a matter of course.
PSG move may be hindered by Neymar, Mbappé
In any case, if Ronaldo does decide on a change of scenery he may find his path blocked by other concerns at PSG, who are focused on tying Neymar and Kylian Mbappé down to long-term deals and would be more likely to make a move for Leo Messi if the Argentinean also elects to ask for a move this summer. United are unlikely to be able to finance a deal unless they shift a fair number of high-earners and Madrid’s parlous finances mean he would probably have to agree to a pay cut to rejoin Zinedine Zidane at the Bernabéu.