Cristiano Ronaldo bid the Bernabeu goodbye after a brilliant 9-year stint with Real Madrid, which saw him bag five European Championship titles and net an astonishing tally of 450 goals from 438 appearances. The 33-year old Portuguese striker who joined Juventus on a £99.2 million four-year deal, arrived at the Allianz Stadium after landing in Turin for the obligatory medical check. Ronaldo made a spectacular entry with thousands of fans waiting at the Arena to get a glimpse of their new idol.
Ronaldo said that leaving Real Madrid was not a very difficult decision to make, hinting at the reported rift with club president Florentino Perez over a new contract. In fact, word is around that Real were willing to match the gross salary offer of around €55 million annually made by his new Italian owners, but the striker had already made up his mind to leave Spain. Juventus, who haven't won a Champions League since 1996, have signed the ace forward for the very reason that he has made Real Madrid a by-name for Europe's premier club tournament.
The five-time Ballon d'Or winner expressed gratefulness for the opportunity given to him by Juventus, adding that players of his age usually go to Qatar or China.
The advent of Ronaldo could lead to the “unburdening' of a few players at Turin and one such name doing the rounds is Miralem Pjanic. Manchester City and Barcelona had evinced interest in the 28-year old Bosnian but the tag of £71m Juventus put on the Bosnian mid-fielder seems to have put off the City management, but folks at Nou Camp are reportedly still interested. Pjanic had joined Juventus on a £25.4 million transfer deal from Roma two years ago.
Juve will try to push the £70.4m Pjanic deal through to Barcelona just to enable them to use those funds for a potential acquisition of 23-year old Lazio midfielder, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic. The Rome-based club want £105m for the Serbian, a figure that is way beyond Juve's budget. Sergej, who impressed greatly at Russia 2018, had evoked interested from Manchester United, but the English have been put off by Lazio's steep asking price for the midfielder. Next in the line of potential suitors for the Serb is Chelsea's new manager Maurizio Sarri, who has signed just one player in the transfer window so far – Napoli's Jorginho for £50m.
Prizing Milinkovic-Savic away from Lazio may not be that easy as he is under contract with the club till 2022. Chelsea, however sound buoyant about the deal, as the Sergej's agent happens to be a former Blues striker Mateja Kezman.