Cristiano Ronaldo misses Juventus training as Manchester City talk gathers pace - reports

Portuguese forward has been subject of intense speculation linking him with a sensational move to the Premier League champions

Cristiano Ronaldo will not train with Juventus on Friday, according to reports, as speculation surrounding a sensational move to Premier League champions Manchester City continues.

AFP have reported that Ronaldo, 36, left Juve's Continassa training centre before the start of Friday's session, with Sky Sports claiming the Portuguese forward arrived in the morning to say goodbye to his teammates before leaving at around 10.45am local time.

Meanwhile, Gazzetta Dello Sport have reported that a deal for Ronaldo to join City could be completed with the next 24 hours.

Despite Juventus insisting Ronaldo was staying, on Thursday Sky claimed the Portugal captain had already cleaned out his locker and is reluctant to make himself available to face Empoli this weekend.

If a deal is to be reached, time is running out with the summer transfer window set to close on Tuesday.

City are in the market for a centre-forward following the exit of Argentine Sergio Aguero this summer. Their attempts to sign England captain Harry Kane fell short after his club, Tottenham Hotspur, refused to negotiate what would have been a British record transfer.

City and their manager Pep Guardiola have since reportedly turned their attention to five-time Ballon d'Or winner Ronaldo. A move to the Etihad would prove particularly contentious given his close ties to rivals Manchester United.

Ronaldo spent six years at Old Trafford, having joined United from Sporting Lisbon in 2003, going on to score 118 goals in 292 appearances before joining Real Madrid for a then world record €94 million ($110.5m).

After nine record-breaking years in Madrid, Ronaldo moved to Juventus in 2018 to huge fanfare and for an Italian record €100m.

Juventus are reportedly hoping to recoup a portion of that transfer fee, with the Italians keen to get €25m for Ronaldo, who has one year remaining on a contract that sees him earn more than four times Matthijs de Ligt, the club's second-highest earner.

City, however, are hoping to sign Ronaldo on a free transfer, which will get the Portuguese superstar off Juve's wage bill as the Italian giants continue to struggle with the financial impact of the pandemic.

Ronaldo was Italy's top scorer last season with 29 goals but it was the worst campaign in a decade for Juventus, who relinquished their Serie A crown to Inter Milan having won the Scudetto for nine successive years while only just scraping into the Champions League places by finishing fourth.

Updated: August 27th 2021, 10:43 AM
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