Italian champions Juventus FC said that they are considering many opportunities in the player market amid media speculation they are in talks to sign Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo.
Ronaldo, who joined Real from Manchester United in 2008 for a then world record 80 million pounds ($106 million), is the Spanish club’s all-time top scorer with 451 goals in all competitions and has won two La Liga titles and four Champions League trophies with them.
On Wednesday, Reuters reported that Ronaldo had received an offer to leave Real Madrid to join Juventus.
The Portuguese five-time world player of the year has had several fallouts with his club and on several occasions indicated he would leave.
Moments after lifting a third consecutive Champions League trophy by helping beat Liverpool 3-1 in the final in May, Ronaldo appeared to suggest he had already decided to leave Real in 2018, telling a reporter on the pitch at Kiev’s NSC Olympic Stadium: “It was beautiful to play for Real Madrid.”
On Wednesday, Spanish sports daily Marca suggested that Ronaldo was disgruntled in Madrid because the European champions were already looking for a successor.
Marca then said on Friday that the forward had given Juventus his word that he would join them.
The Turin-based club said they would promptly inform the market “if any agreement should be defined”, in a statement in response to a request by market regulator Consob.
Shares in Juventus FC were up 5.5% at 0.865 euros, after a session high of 0.8995 euros. In the last four market sessions the stock has risen nearly 30%, seeing a potential contract with Ronaldo as big business opportunity for the club.
A Milan-based trader pointed to the potential gain from a merchandise point of view, saying that Real Madrid has sold 750 thousand jerseys of Ronaldo alone.
In February Juventus said it forecast to end the 2017-18 financial year, ending in June 2018, with a loss after posting half-year revenues at 290 million euros and a profit down to 43.3 million euros.