Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri said superstar forward Cristiano Ronaldo confirmed he wants to remain with the Serie A club despite a recent round of transfer rumors.
"Cristiano has always trained well and has never expressed his desire to leave Juventus," Allegri told reporters Saturday. "He told me that he's staying, so we can clear that one up."
ESPN FC's Gabriele Marcotti reported the latest speculation popped up Monday after journalist Edu Aguirre said on El Chiringuito de Jugones, a Spanish television show focused on La Liga, that Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti remained in communication with Ronaldo and suggested a potential return to Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.
Ancelotti denied the report in a statement posted on Twitter, and Ronaldo, whose contract runs out after the 2021-22 season, made a post Tuesday on Instagram about the "disrespect" shown to him by the "frivolous way" rumors about his future are thrown around in constant fashion:
"My story at Real Madrid has been written. It's been recorded. In words and numbers, in trophies and titles, in records and in headlines. It's in the Museum at the Bernabeu Stadium and it's also in the minds of every fan of the club. And beyond what I achieved, I remember that in those nine years I had a relationship of deep affection and respect for 'merengue aficion,' an affection and respect that I retain to this day, and that I will always cherish. I know that the true Real Madrid fans will continue to have me in their hearts, and I will have them in mine."
His frustration didn't stop the speculation from picking up steam once again when he missed a training match Thursday, but Allegri noted that was a planned rest.
"Ronaldo didn't play on Thursday because we were coming off a heavy training workload and I gave him half a day off," Allegri said Saturday. "[He] is an added bonus for us, because he guarantees a large number of goals. Obviously, we also have to work as a team to get the best out of an individual."
Unfortunately for the 36-year-old Portuguese international, his status as one of the world's most high-profile athletes combined with a contract that's nearing a conclusion means the transfer talk will likely be consistent until next summer or when he signs a new deal with Juve.
For now, Ronaldo is focused on trying to help the Bianconeri bounce back after a 2020-21 term when they finished fourth in Serie A, ending a run of nine straight titles, and were eliminated from the Champions League in the round of 16.
Juventus kick off the new domestic campaign Sunday when they visit Stadio Friuli to face Udinese.
Ronaldo scored four goals in the two meetings between the sides last season.