Ronaldo showed interest in Juventus move in January – Mendes
The iconic forward left Real Madrid for the Bianconeri in July, but is said to have had his eyes on a move to Turin before then
Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo made it clear he was keen to join the Serie A champions as early as January, agent Jorge Mendes has revealed.
Ronaldo, 33, left Real Madrid for Italy in a stunning €112 million (£102m/$128m) deal in July, just after helping the Spanish giants to a third consecutive Champions League triumph.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has settled in seamlessly at Juve, scoring 11 Serie A goals and 12 in all competitions, and Mendes claimed talks to send Ronaldo to Turin were underway at the beginning of the year.
Indeed, Mendes says he spoke with Juve’s hierarchy, including sporting director Fabio Paratici and president Andrea Agnelli, before they faced Madrid in the Champions League quarter-finals.
“He is the best player in the history of the game, so a lot of teams wanted him,” Mendes said via Tuttosport. “Even so, Juve deserve a lot of credit for making this deal happen.
“Cristiano told me back in January that he wanted to join the Bianconeri. At that moment in time, I did not think that a deal would be possible, but I guess that I was wrong.
“I met up with Paratici and [vice-chairman Pavel] Nedved before the Juve-Real game in Turin [in April] and I then met up with Agnelli, too. That’s when I started to believe that a deal was possible.”
Mendes added that negotiations over the deal lasted “two or three months”.
Ronaldo scored Juve’s 5,000th Serie A goal in their 1-0 victory at neighbours Torino last week, but the Portugal forward is set to be rested against either Roma, Atalanta or Sampdoria before the turn of the year.
By contrast, Real Madrid have struggled in Ronaldo’s absence and are on their second manager of the season after the sacking of Julen Lopetegui in October.
Santiago Solari is now at the helm, with the Galacticos currently fourth in La Liga, five points behind leaders Barcelona, and set to face Lyon in the last 16 of the Champions League next February.
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