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Tuesday 20 November 2018

Juve make bold move for Ron'

Real deny report of world record bid for PSG sensation Mbappe as Italian champions line up Cristiano

Juventus have bid €100 million for Cristiano Ronaldo. AP Photo/Francisco Seco
Juventus have bid €100 million for Cristiano Ronaldo. AP Photo/Francisco Seco

Cristiano Ronaldo has received an offer to leave Real Madrid and join Italian champions Juventus, a source close to the player confirmed yesterday.

Ronaldo, who joined Real from Manchester United in 2008 for a then world record £80million, is the Spanish club's all-time top scorer with 451 goals in all competitions and has won two La Liga titles and four Champions League trophies with them.

Despite the glut of silverware, however, the five-times world player of the year has had frequent fall-outs with Real and has declared on several occasions that he wants to leave the club.

Moments after lifting a third consecutive Champions League trophy by beating Liverpool 3-1 in the final on May 26, Ronaldo appeared to suggest he had already decided to leave Real, telling a television reporter on the pitch at Kiev's NSC Olympic Stadium: "It was beautiful to play for Real Madrid."

Unhappy

Ronaldo, 33, appeared to backtrack on that statement during Real's celebration parade through the Spanish capital the next day, when he told a mass of supporters: "See you next season."

The Portugal forward was reported to be on the verge of leaving last June after a news story appeared in Portuguese newspaper Record declaring he was unhappy with the club.

He also caused a stir in 2012 when he declared in a post-match interview after a game with Granada: "I'm sad and the club know why."

Spanish newspaper Marca suggested yesterday that Ronaldo is unhappy at Real because they are searching for a successor to him and president Florentino Perez has publicly courted Paris St Germain forward Neymar, urging the Brazilian last year to come to Madrid if he wants to win the prestigious Ballon d'Or award.

Report

Ronaldo scored two goals against Juventus in Real's 4-1 win in the 2017 Champions League and struck a jaw-dropping bicycle kick against the Italians in a 3-0 win in a quarter-final first leg game in Turin which prompted Juve supporters to give him a standing ovation.

The Portuguese converted a stoppage-time penalty in the second leg to knock the Italians out 4-3 on aggregate.

Ronaldo had an explosive start to the 2018 World Cup by scoring a hat-trick in his side's 3-3 draw with Spain and he hit the winning goal in a 1-0 win over Morocco.

He missed a penalty in a 1-1 draw with Iran and failed to score in his side's 2-1 defeat by Uruguay in the last-16.

Real, meanwhile, denied reports they have made a bid for Paris Saint-Germain's teenage striker Kylian Mbappe, who is emerging as one of the biggest stars of the Russia World Cup.

One report said that the Spanish Champions League holders had agreed a world-record €272million fee for the French 19-year-old.

Real Madrid issued their denial after Spanish sports dailies Marca and AS ran articles referring to the original report.

"Given the information published ...regarding an alleged agreement between Real Madrid and PSG for the player Kylian Mbappe, Real Madrid would like to state that it is completely false," the club said in a statement on their website.

"Real Madrid has not made any offer to PSG or the player and condemns the spreading of this type of information."

With speculation rife that world Ronaldo will soon leave Real, the Madrid club also on Monday denied a report that they had offered €310million for Mbappe's Brazilian PSG strike partner Neymar.

PSG signed Mbappe on an initial year-long loan deal from AS Monaco last year with an option to buy after one season. That deal was reported to be worth 180 million euros.

Mbappe has so far scored three World Cup goals, including two in France 4-3 round-of-16 victory over Argentina. France face Uruguay in a quarter-final in Nizhny Novgorod tomorrow.

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