Cristiano Ronaldo’s future ‘decided’ say Juventus, amid suggestion he could leave

Juventus director Fabio Paratici has revealed the club will retain the services of free-scoring Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo, despite suggestions he could leave this summer.

The former Real Madrid, Manchester United and Sporting CP attacker has netted 30 goals in 34 games across all competitions this season, yet was one of several players who came in for criticism after Juve were knocked out of the Champions League at the last 16 stage by Porto.

Juventus are also well off the pace in the domestic title race, sat fourth in the Serie A table, 10 points off leaders Inter Milan with 11 games to play.

With Cristiano having turned 36 last month, questions had been asked of whether the club were getting value from him or needed to restructure the team – but Paratici is quoted as being firm in his assertions that there is a plan in place and Ronaldo is part of it.

“We’ve decided to keep Cristiano Ronaldo. He’s the best player in the world and we are holding on tight,” the director said, per Goal.

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“We have a project that we started from last season, one game will not change our views or our strategy.

“This line continues and we are very happy with what we’ve done, so we’ll continue working to improve.”

Manager Andrea Pirlo has also come in for criticism, with Juve unlikely to win any silverware this season after winning the domestic title in each of the last nine seasons.

Paratici further explained that those running the club take a longer-term view of rebuilding for future successes and pointed to other supposed moments of decline of the Turin club which failed to prove prophetic over a greater period.

“Just as a defeat won’t change the project of a club, a victory won’t either. Once an approach has been decided on, we see it through.

“I don’t believe the word ‘transitional’ exists at Juventus. We play every game aiming to win, some go better than others, but transition isn’t an issue here. Every year is important, even when it doesn’t necessarily have the same results as in the past.

“People might not have realised because we kept winning, but we have already made numerous changes over the years, reduced the age of the squad several times to build future success.

“I can tell you seven or eight times we were told an era has ended, for example the defeat at Galatasaray, Conte’s departure, the Berlin Champions League Final, when we were 10 points off the lead at the start of last season, when we replaced Allegri with Sarri, etc, and yet we continued to win.

“When you are rebuilding, it can happen that you don’t also manage to win everything at the same time, but it’s part of the process.”

Juve lost to 16th-place Benevento at the weekend and still face a fight to secure a top-four finish to earn Champions League football next season.

While Atalanta are only ahead on goals scored with a game more played, Napoli are two points behind Juve and Roma a further three back.

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