Following Juve’s Champions League exit at the hands of Ajax, La Repubblica reports that the ex-Real Madrid star will leave the Serie A club before 2022.
Juventus can clinch the Serie A championship if they avoid defeat to Fiorentina this weekend, but in the wake of Tuesday’s Champions League quarter-final exit, it will be a title party tinged with plenty of sadness even if they do seal an eighth straight ‘Scudetto’.
Juve’s Champions League dream scotched by Ajax
Having brought in Cristiano Ronaldo last summer, there were high hopes that this would be the year Juve ended their wait for a third European crown, but despite the former Real Madrid man scoring in each leg against Ajax, they were dumped out of the competition by the Dutch underdogs. Indeed, the Vecchia Signora’s overall performance has dropped this term: they had won a domestic league and cup double for the past four years, but this season also exited the Coppa Italia at the quarter-final stage after a comprehensive, 3-0 loss to Atalanta.
“Next season may well be Cristiano’s last in Italy”
Clearly, it’s a state of affairs that Cristiano will be far from pleased with, particularly given his personal contribution to the cause: he was the hat-trick hero in their epic comeback against Atlético Madrid in the Champions League last 16, and added another two goals against Ajax. Yesterday, Corriere della Sera even suggested that an angry Ronaldo could even bid Juve farewell this very summer.
Although such a dramatic turn of events appears highly improbable, another major Italian newspaper, La Repubblica, has revealed that it does look like the Portuguese won’t see out his Biaconeri contract, which is due to run until 2022. “It’s unlikely CR7 will stay until the end of his deal”, the publication said today, adding: “Next season may well be his last in Italy.”
Having dug deep to sign Cristiano, Juve’s Champions League elimination will have a clear financial impact, with the club’s last-eight exit seeing them lose out on at least 16m euros in prize money). He had featured in the tournament’s semi-finals for the past nine years; that his arrival at Juve has coincided with the end of that run will also take its toll from a marketing perspective.