Rome (AFP) – Cristiano Ronaldo will remain at Juventus, coach Massimiliano Allegri insisted on Saturday, saying he had received assurances from the Portugal star dispelling rumours of a possible return to Real Madrid.
“Let’s clarify this issue, Ronaldo told me that he’s staying,” Allegri said in response to numerous questions on Ronaldo’s form and mindset ahead of Sunday’s Serie A opener at Udinese.
“He has always trained well and has always been available. I’ve read rumours in the papers, but he’s never wanted to leave Juventus.”
Italy’s top scorer last season with 29 goals was absent for Juve’s final warm-up against the club’s youngsters on Thursday, but Allegri said he was ready to play in what will be his fourth and final season of his contract.
Allegri’s comments follow the 36-year-old’s own rejection of reports he was angling for a return to Madrid under Carlo Ancelotti, calling such talk “disrespectful”.
In an Instagram post this week Ronaldo said his “story at Real Madrid has been written”, although he did not explicitly say that he was not looking for a way out of Juve.
“There have been frequent news and stories associating me with a number of clubs in many different Leagues, with nobody ever being concerned about trying to find out the actual truth,” Ronaldo added.
Since moving to Juve in 2018, Ronaldo has won two Serie A titles and one Italian Cup, but has not brought the European glory the Italian club craves.
Allegri has returned to manage the club after a two year absence following the failure of Pirlo’s regime which saw Juve let go of the league title for the first time since 2012.
“Like every year, we are out to win every competition,” said Allegri, who won five Scudettos with Juve from 2015 to 2019.
“We’ll take things one step at a time and try to win our first match at Udine.
“It’s going to be a finely fought season and you can’t have peaks at 100 and then 30, better to have a cruising speed of 80 to 90.”
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