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ESPN FC  By ESPN

Cristiano Ronaldo-to-Juventus rumours played up by European papers

ESPN FC's Raphael Honigstein explains how both Juventus and Real Madrid are benefitting from having Cristiano Ronaldo linked with a move to Turin.
As the Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus rumours continue to gain momentum, ESPN FC's Craig Burley explains why he's not sold on the move.
ESPN's Dalton Cara captures the emotions of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, whose World Cup dreams ended on the same day.

Rumours of a potential transfer that would send Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid to Italian champions Juventus led the front pages of multiple daily sport newspapers in Europe on Tuesday.

Sources close to Ronaldo told ESPN that Juventus have made an offer to Real Madrid for the Portuguese superstar but that no decision has been reached by any party at this point, despite an earlier unverified report in Spain saying the clubs had agreed on a deal. 

Juventus did not reply to a request for comment on Tuesday night.

Marca in Spain and A Bola in Portugal led their Tuesday print editions by amplifying a claim made on Spanish TV station La Sexta's "Jugones" show on Monday night that Real Madrid had agreed to sell Ronaldo to Juventus for €100 million.

The newspapers cited the TV report in their own discussions of a potential transfer, but did not confirm that the deal has already been agreed.

Meanwhile, the story on the front of Italy's Tuttosport on Tuesday said Juventus were preparing an offer of nearly €120m for Ronaldo.

ESPN Deportes' Paola Nunez reported that the "Jugones" story means that Real Madrid are at least considering the possibility of negotiations with Juventus.

Any transfer would still require Ronaldo to leave and agree personal terms on a new contract. The "Jugones" report said Juventus would offer to make Ronaldo the highest-paid player in their history at €30m a year.

Juventus CEO Giuseppe Marotta met with Ronaldo's agent Jorge Mendes last week while finalising the signing of another client, Portugal full-back Joao Cancelo.

Ronaldo threw his future into doubt in May by talking about Real Madrid in the past tense after beating Liverpool in the Champions League final, voicing frustration over long-stalled talks with club president Florentino Perez about an improved contract.

A source close to Ronaldo told ESPN in June that he remained determined to leave Real Madrid this summer, though he would only consider a move to England, France or Italy.

However, the situation was quite similar a year ago, as the former Manchester United player let it be known that he wanted out of Madrid over issues with Spanish tax authorities, only to end up staying at the Bernabeu. Last month, he reportedly agreed to pay €18.8 million to settle his tax case.

When the transfer rumours escalated again in January, sources close to United said at that time they doubted any claims that Ronaldo really wants to leave Real Madrid -- and that he was merely trying to force a better deal out of his current club.

Ronaldo said in December that he wanted a raise after helping Real win the Club World Cup. Sources close to the player have told ESPN multiple times in the months since that the player is still unhappy with Perez for not keeping a promise of a new contract, and that he's bothered that Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Paris Saint-Germain's Neymar both earn more.

But even a €30m-a-year deal at Juventus might not solve that complaint, as Spanish station TVE reported on Monday -- in a claim promptly refuted by Real Madrid -- that Real would be willing to pay Neymar €45m annually if they could sign the Brazilian from PSG.

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