From the morning after Juventus’ Champions League exit, the talk, the speculation and everything in between started. The future of Cristiano Ronaldo at Juventus has gone from Tuttosport throwing out a rumor of a potential contract extension through 2023 a few weeks ago to, now, the Portuguese being, at least reportedly, being anything but a sure thing to be with the Turin giants come the start of the 2021-22 season.
According to Fabrizio Romano, Ronaldo’s future at the club is not something that will be discussed in the immediate hours, days or even weeks. Instead, Juventus’ front office — namely club president Andrea Agnelli and Chief Football Officer Fabio Paratici, who himself is coming up on a decision to make regarding his own contract — will meet with Ronaldo (or at least his agent Jorge Mendes) to discuss the star forward’s future at the club beyond this current season.
Part of Romano’s interview on CBS Sports’ Qué Golazo Podcast — which is good and you should check out — about Ronaldo is as follows:
.@FabrizioRomano: "At the end of the season, [Cristiano] Ronaldo and Juventus will meet with the agent Jorge Mendes to decide about the future of the player..."— Luis Miguel Echegaray (@lmechegaray) March 15, 2021
Ma man Fab joins me on @QueGolazoPod to chat about Ronaldo's future, Juve and a big summer ahead for the Italian club.
For context, here is what Paratici said about Ronaldo prior to Sunday night’s win over Cagliari, a game in which Ronaldo scored a perfect first-half hat trick (and could have been sent off) to lead Juventus over the Sardinian relegation battlers:
“It makes me laugh. I never imagined Ronaldo could be put into question. I grew up in a small town and I heard people discussing Platini, Rivera, Baggio, top players inside bars.
“Ronaldo won five Ballon d’Ors, I don’t know how many Champions League. He won so many trophies and scored so many goals at Juventus. It’s a privilege to have him here, we are happy to have him here.
“He surely represents the future of Juventus.”
(Source: Football Italia)
Like Romano pointed out in the interview clip above, this is an expected kind of response from Paratici regarding Ronaldo’s future in his first pre-game appearance since Juve’s Champions League ouster. The last thing you would expect somebody in Paratici’s shoes to do would to be sending out a declaration, with over two months in the season to go, that Ronaldo was going to leave and thus taking away any kind of leverage they may have if a club comes calling to potentially sign the 36-year-old star.
And it is very much a sensible way of handling things considering Juventus is still very much playing for something — while it’s not the Scudetto nor a Champions League trophy — over these final 12 league games and the Coppa Italia final against Atalanta.
Between now and the end of the season when this meeting of the most powerful people at the club will take place, there is bound to be few days where we DON’T hear about Ronaldo’s future in Turin and where he may go if he does in fact leave this summer. We know there are an incredibly small number of clubs that can afford his likely wage demands, and we’re about to see a whole lot of Ronaldo being linked to those teams until his status for the 2021-22 campaign truly resolved.
So, for now, we wait. And if it does in fact end up being the early summer when Ronaldo’s meeting with the Juventus front office takes place, then that’s when something will be known for sure. Until then, it’s just going to be speculation kicked into overdrive because of who they’re talking about, the clubs he’s being linked to and what it would mean for Juventus regardless of if Ronaldo stays or leaves.