Is Cristiano Ronaldo going to move to Juventus?
By Joe Harker
There may still be a World Cup on but it's also silly season too and the transfer window always throws up a few surprises. Once a team is knocked out the players can get back to the business of moving between clubs for huge sums of money, it's what football is really about.
Real Madrid are being busy little bees and have their eye on one Neymar Jr, formerly of fierce rivals Barcelona, now the world's most expensive player after a transfer to PSG last summer. The club has released a statement saying it is "outright false" that they want to try and sign him this summer, so naturally everyone assumes they really do want to sign him.
It would be the most expensive transfer deal in football and even a club like Real Madrid don't have infinite transfer funds. One suggestion has been that Neymar is the successor to Cristiano Ronaldo, which would mean the Portuguese forward would make way to raise funds for any sort of deal.
We seemingly go through this every summer, but Ronaldo apparently wants to leave Real Madrid yet again and Italian giants Juventus are the club linked with taking him on.
There are other reports floating around that Real Madrid have lowered Ronaldo's release clause to the bargain price of €120 million. While that still sounds like an astronomical sum, his previous clause was €1 billion. If it's true then it would appear that Madrid are laying the groundwork for a transfer and have set their asking price.
However, there are several problems with this rumour. Even if Ronaldo wants to leave Real Madrid and the club are trying to sell him, Juventus probably can't afford his transfer fee or wage demands. The only clubs that could are the richest in England and French champions PSG.
Juventus' highest paid player is Argentine striker Gonzalo Higuain, on a weekly wage of €150,000, who is also their record signing at €90 million. They also have the highest wage bill in Serie A. Ronaldo's wage demands would likely be two or three times that of Higuain's, meaning the club are highly unlikely to be able to afford him. It would shatter their wage structure and likely stop their ability to bring any more players in while Ronaldo was with them.
In addition to the supposed €120 million release clause for Ronaldo, Juventus are reportedly offering a similar amount of money to the player in a four year contract. That would put him on over half a million euros per week, a ridiculous sum of money for a club like Juventus. However, Ronaldo is a ridiculous sort of player and the club may consider such a massive amount of spending to be justified, particularly if it makes them more competitive in the Champions League.