Cristiano Ronaldo wants to leave Juventus, coach Massimiliano Allegri revealed on Friday, as rumours of an imminent move to Manchester City gather pace.
“Yesterday, speaking with Cristiano, he told me that he has no intention of staying at Juventus, for this reason he will not be picked tomorrow. This morning he didn’t train,” Allegri told reporters ahead of Juve’s Serie A match against Empoli on Saturday.
Premier League champions City have been widely linked with a move for five-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo after missing out on England captain Harry Kane.
“I’m not disappointed in Ronaldo, he made his choice,” added Allegri. “In life, things change. Great players like Sivori, Platini, Del Piero, Zidane, Buffon have passed through Juventus — it’s part of life.
“He was here three years, he made his contribution, he made himself available to Juventus and now he’s leaving. Life goes on.”
Earlier on Friday Juve had confirmed that Ronaldo would not train with his teammates, with Sky Sport Italia reporting that the superstar forward arrived at the club’s Continassa training centre in the morning to say goodbye to his teammates before leaving at around 10:45 am local time (0845 GMT).
On Thursday Sky claimed the Portugal captain had already cleaned out his locker in the dressing room despite Allegri and club director Pavel Nedved both insisting last weekend that he would remain in Turin.
Allegri even told reporters that Ronaldo had told him personally that he wanted to stay after Serie A’s top scorer last season started on the bench at Udinese on Sunday.
According to daily Gazzetta Dello Sport, a deal for superstar Ronaldo to go to City could be completed within the next 24 hours, with the summer transfer window set to close on Tuesday.
The fee, however, could be a problem with the Italians believed to be wanting in the region of 25 million euros ($29.4 million).
– ‘Disrespectful’ rumours -Ronaldo, who has one year remaining on his contract, has also been linked with Paris Saint-Germain and a return to Real Madrid.
Last week, Ronaldo himself rubbished reports of a move back to Real Madrid, calling them “disrespectful” and saying that stories of his departure were written with “nobody ever being concerned about trying to find out the actual truth”.
Real have since had an initial bid of 160 million euros for PSG star Kylian Mbappe rejected, but according to French media reports are set to make a second offer of 180 million.
That would close any route for Ronaldo back to the Santiago Bernabeu, although as well as the reports of a possible move to City, there have also been rumours he could join old rival Lionel Messi in Paris to replace Mbappe should the Frenchman leave.
Ronaldo scored 118 goals in 292 appearances for Manchester United early in his career before leaving for Madrid in 2009.
He joined Juve in 2018 after scoring a remarkable 450 goals in 438 matches in a glittering nine-year spell at the Bernabeu that also included four Champions League triumphs.
At Juventus, his hopes of winning another Champions League have been thwarted, with the club failing to get beyond the quarter-finals during his time in Turin.
Last season, they were deposed as Italian champions by fierce rivals Inter Milan and had to wait until the final day of the campaign to secure qualification for Europe’s top club competition.