Real Madrid have failed to persuade Cristiano Ronaldo to extend his stay at the European champions into a 10th season as he has opted to sign for Juventus.
The Portugal international has rejected the offer of an improved contract at the Santiago Bernabeu and his move to the Italian giants was confirmed on Tuesday evening.
Juventus have agreed a deal worth in the region of €120million for Ronaldo, having already agreed personal terms with the 33-year-old.
Madrid are understood to have asked for Ronaldo’s transfer fee to be paid in a single instalment.
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Ronaldo said: “These years in Real Madrid, and in this city of Madrid, have been possibly the happiest of my life.
“I only have feelings of enormous gratitude for this club, for this hobby and for this city. I can only thank all of them for the love and affection I have received.
“However, I believe that the time has come to open a new stage in my life and that is why I have asked the club to accept transferring me. I feel that way and I ask everyone, and especially our followers, to please understand me.
“Real Madrid has conquered my heart, and that of my family, and that is why more than ever I want to say thank you: thanks to the club, the President, the directors, my colleagues, all the technicians, doctors, physios and incredible workers that make everything work and that are pending every detail tirelessly.
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“I have reflected a lot and I know that the time has come for a new cycle. I’m leaving but this shirt, this shield and the Santiago Bernabéu will continue to always feel as my own wherever I am.”
The Serie A club will pay a basic salary of €30m after tax to a player who has won four of the last five Ballons d’Or and wanted that status reflected in his financial terms.
Juve, who reported turnover of €555m in the 2016-17 season, will reward Ronaldo with a salary package worth more than four times that of their current best-paid player. Their pursuit of the Champions League record goalscorer is the boldest aspect of a squad rebuild designed to bring Europe’s premier club trophy back to the Turin club for the first time since 1996.
The Italian champions have already signed Joao Cancelo from Valencia, Emre Can from Liverpool at significant expense, as well as converting Douglas Costa’s loan from Bayern Munich into a permanent transfer for an initial fee of €40m.
They have also recruited a pair of young Italians in Mattia Perin and Andrea Favilli from domestic opponents.
Juve’s restructuring, which also involves the release of Kwadwo Asamoah, Gianluigi Buffon and Stephan Lichtsteiner while considering offers for Gonzalo Higuain, Mario Mandzukic and Alex Sandro, has been driven by Massimiliano Allegri.
⚽⭐🙌 Carta de Cristiano Ronaldo.
— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadrid) July 10, 2018
A domestic double winner in every one of his four seasons at the club, Juve’s coach rejected approaches from Arsenal, Chelsea and Madrid on condition that his squad was radically restructured with the Champions League in mind.
🇵🇹 Cristiano Ronaldo for Real Madrid:
🕰 9 years
⚪ 438 games
⚽ 451 goals
🎯 Assists: 119
⚽ All-time top scorer
🏆 4x Champions League
🏆 2x La Liga
🏆 2x Copa del Rey
🏆 2x Supercopa
🏆 2x UEFA Super Cup
🏆 3x Club World Cup
🏆 4x Ballon d'Or
🏆 👟 3x Golden Shoe
Legend 🙏 pic.twitter.com/AjlxXnIYYn
— Football Galaxy (@_FootballGalaxy) July 10, 2018
Club president Florentino Perez will use the funds recouped from and the wage bill freed up by a sale to bring new ‘Galactico’ signings to the Bernabeu.
Perez holds a long standing interest in bringing Neymar and Kylian Mbappe to Madrid. Paris Saint-Germain’s Qatari owners have made it clear they will not allow the Brazilian to force an exit this summer, but there may be scope to take advantage of PSG’s problems complying with Financial Fair Play and pursue Mbappe.