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Ronaldo wants to leave Juventus says coach Allegri

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MANCHESTER, England / TURIN, Italy, Aug 27 (Reuters) – Cristiano Ronaldo will decide who he plays for next and anything can happen in the next few days, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said on Friday when asked about media reports the Portugal international was set to move to The Etihad. Cristiano Ronaldo has no intention of staying at Juventus, the club’s coach Massimiliano Allegri said on Friday, amid media speculation that Manchester City could be his next destination.

Widespread reports in the Italian and English press say Ronaldo’s agent, Jorge Mendes, has been finalising a transfer for the Portugal forward to English champions City, with several reporting that personal terms have already been agreed.

Allegri told a news conference ahead of his side’s Serie A clash at home to Empoli this weekend that 36-year-old Ronaldo informed him on Thursday of his wish to leave Turin.

“Yesterday Cristiano told me that he no longer plans to play for Juventus,” Allegri said. “This is why he will not be called up tomorrow. He did not train yesterday. He told his team mates this morning. I am not surprised at anything, in football there is the market and there are the needs of individuals.

“He made his choice. Life goes on.

“Omar Sivori, Michel Platini, Alessandro Del Piero, Zinedine Zidane, Gianluigi Buffon, some great champions and even better managers (have left). It’s one of the laws of life. But Juventus will always be here.

“Cristiano did a lot for this club, he’s a great champion, I wish him all the luck in the world wherever he will play. He gave a great contribution. For the season that I trained him he led by example for the lads, so he is only to be thanked for what he did for Juventus.”

JUVE TROPHIES

Ronaldo, who was signed by Juventus in 2018 for 100 million euros from Real Madrid in the hope of leading them to an elusive Champions League title, will leave the Italian club with 101 goals, two league titles and a Coppa Italia trophy to his name.

Ronaldo spent six seasons with Manchester United from 2003-2009 where he won eight major trophies plus the Ballon d’Or as the world’s best player in 2008 before sealing a then world record 80 million pounds move to Real Madrid.

The Portugal forward is Real’s all-time top scorer with 451 goals in all competitions and won four Champions League trophies and two LaLiga titles with the Spanish club.

During the European Championship in June Ronaldo joined Iran’s Ali Daei as the all-time top scorer in international soccer reaching 109 goals and he could make the record his own during the World Cup qualifiers in September.

Ronaldo would join a City team stacked with talent but lacking a consistent marksman after the club’s all-time top scorer Sergio Aguero left at the end of the 2020-21 season to join Barcelona.

Manchester Route?

Media reports have indicated City, who had wanted to sign Tottenham Hotspur’s England striker Harry Kane, were willing to offer a two-year contract for a player who knows Manchester well after playing for rivals United from 2003-09.

City are the Premier League champions and will take on Ronaldo’s old rival Lionel Messi, now at Paris St Germain after leaving Barcelona, in the Champions League group stage.

“I cannot say much,” said Guardiola when asked about Ronaldo at a news conference to preview Saturday’s home match against Arsenal. “Only I can say that in this three or four days left until the transfer window shuts, everything can happen.

English champions City this week failed in their bid to sign Harry Kane from Tottenham Hotspur, with the England captain stating he was staying at the north London club.

Manchester United could also be a possible destination for Cristiano Ronaldo after it was confirmed on Friday that the Portugal forward plans to leave Juventus, the Premier League club’s manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said.

At United, Ronaldo scored 118 goals and won the Premier League Golden Boot in the 2007-08 season, the year he helped the Old Trafford club claim their last Champions League title.

(Reporting by Peter Hall; editing by Philippa Fletcher and Ken Ferris)

Reuters

Photo Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo at J Medical Cennter in Turin, Italy, 26 July 2021 EPA-EFE/Alessandro Di Marco