Cristiano Ronaldo decision leaves De Ligt with uncertain Juventus future

Juventus have spent big money in their quest for Champions League supremacy.

The Turin-based club made the marquee signing of Cristiano Ronaldo in 2018 before following it up with the capture of Matthijs de Ligt from Ajax in 2019.

The pair are at opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of age with Ronaldo, 36 signed in the latter stages of his career whilst De Ligt, 21 is very much beginning his journey.

But circumstances change, and there is now reportedly concern over their financial position amid the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

According to Tuttomercatoweb, Ronaldo is comfortable at Juventus and keen to extend his stay in Turin beyond the end of his current contract, which expires in June 2022.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s decision on his future could have major implications for Matthijs de Ligt

He is said to have communicated his desire to stay for one more season, whilst Juventus are considering the proposal and believe it is too early to commit.

Ronaldo’s performances have been strong in Italy and they are pleased with his contributions but recognise his age is a factor given his high costs.

If they keep him on board for another season, then any chance of recouping a fee for him in the future looks highly unlikely, whilst his salary is costly.

It is claimed that if Juventus do decide to keep Ronaldo for an extra year, and finances do not significantly improve, they will be forced to cash-in on another key player at the end of the season.

At present, De Ligt is said to be the obvious contender to be moved on due to his high potential and the huge fee he could attract with a host of admirers around Europe.

Ronaldo has reportedly decided he wants to stay another year at Juventus when his current deal ends
Ronaldo has reportedly decided he wants to stay another year at Juventus when his current deal ends

Whilst the choice to keep Ronaldo and expend of De Ligt may be short term, there are several factors beyond football in play.

Ronaldo’s signing saw Juventus’s stock price soar, and losing their poster boy, arguably the greatest player of all-time, would inevitably have an impact off the field.

As a result, Ronaldo’s decision to play on for another year could ultimately see De Ligt, one of the hottest properties in world football before heading to Juventus, back on the market.

Ironically, De Ligt revealed last year that a chat with Ronaldo helped convince him to choose Juventus after interest from a host of clubs including Barcelona and Manchester United.

“Last season I played for Ajax and won the Golden Boy [award], and it was here in Turin where I collected it,” De Ligt said in an interview with Wojciech Szczesny for YouTube channel Foot Truck.

“That was the first time I travelled with my girlfriend to another place. Before I [signed] here, we already completed Turin.

Ronaldo helped convince De Ligt to join Juventus from Ajax in 2019
Ronaldo helped convince De Ligt to join Juventus from Ajax in 2019

“Of course, I had a lot of time to choose between the clubs I could join and, when I put everything on paper, Juventus were the best choice for me. Ronaldo did speak to me and obviously it was a big honour!

“Juventus told me ‘the reason we want to buy you is because you’re already mature and you know how to handle pressure.’

“They also said to me it was difficult for a 19-year-old to go to another country, but ‘we have confidence in you and you’ll find your place soon.’

“When I went into the dressing room for the first time, I was like a kid in a sweet shop! After two months, I felt like I could be myself more.”

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