Jorge Mendes Reportedly 'Set for Showdown Talks' over Cristiano Ronaldo Exit

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistJuly 5, 2018

Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid with UEFA Champions League trophy, Coupe des clubs Champions Europeens during the UEFA Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool on May 26, 2018 at NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium in Kyiv, Ukraine(Photo by VI Images via Getty Images)
VI-Images/Getty Images

Cristiano Ronaldo's agent, Jorge Mendes, is reportedly due in Spain for showdown talks with Real Madrid president Florentino Perez after the club were said to have received an £88 million bid from Juventus for the player.

The Mirror's Martin Domin said Mendes hopes to hasten Ronaldo's transfer to Turin, with the connection between him and Real seemingly weakened. Los Blancos could agree to a sale in the hopes it will lead them to Neymar.

The Paris Saint-Germain ace has been linked with a transfer to the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu since before moving to Paris for Barcelona for £200 million last summer. Ronaldo's departure would free up the space necessary for the Brazilian to arrive, although convincing PSG to sell will still be an uphill struggle.

BeIn Sports presenter Matteo Bonetti further verified the rumours of Juve's push to sign Ronaldo, 33, and said it would be a landmark moment for the Italian top flight if it goes through:

Matteo Bonetti @TheCalcioGuy

It still seems unbelievable to me given the figures that are being thrown around. If it does happen, it would be the single most important thing to happen to the Serie A in a decade.

That's looking increasingly probable as the speculation progresses, and with talks planned, the suggestion in the Portuguese media is that the deal could be imminent, per writer Arjun Pradeep:

Arjun Pradeep @IndianRegista

🇵🇹 📰 | Front page of Record: The transfer of Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus, is a matter of hours [now]. Cr7 has decided to close his Real Madrid cycle. "CR JUVE" https://t.co/aMnqaqHXmU

Domin also cited a report from AS writer Manu Sainz, who recently said Ronaldo has agreed a €30 million (£26.5 million) annual salary with the Turin giants, leaving his transfer fee as the most obvious remaining stumbling block if true.

Writer Mootaz Chehade specified how much Ronaldo stands to earn in Italy, according to reports:

Mootaz Chehade @MHChehade

Cristiano Ronaldo will leave Real Madrid for Juventus this summer after seeing a transfer request granted, claims Jugones. Juventus are prepared to pay the 33-year-old €30m-a-year.

Other clubs could still come into the race for Ronaldo following Portugal's exit from the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and ESPN FC pundit Raphael Honigstein broke down the latest after Juve's bid for the forward accelerated:

MailOnline's Alex Martin reported on Ronaldo's suggestions after this year's UEFA Champions League triumph that he could leave Real. He also referenced a Marca article that said he'd informed team-mates weeks before that he'd be departing.

Los Merengues have more recently denied reports they are moving to sign PSG pair Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, per Sky Sports, but writer Chris Winterburn provided context on why they have elected to react to rumours:

Chris Winterburn @cmwinterburn

What is absolutely crucial is how Real Madrid are attempting to keep PSG comfortable by the two public denials of Neymar and Mbappe stories. The reality is that the only way Real can justify a Ronaldo exit is if one or both of them arrive, which is really unlikely.

In his report, Domin touched on PSG's ongoing battle to meet UEFA's Financial Fair Play regulations after spending close to €400 million on players last summer—including this year's £166 million Mbappe payment. This could force the club to assess their options in selling one of Neymar or Mbappe.

Juventus midfielder Blaise Matuidi recently said "it would be just great" if Ronaldo were to join him and his team-mates in Turin, per Matthew Smith of MailOnline. Meanwhile, Nicolas Higuain, brother of Bianconeri striker Gonzalo, also talked up his potential arrival, per Sky Sport's Fabrizio Romano:

Fabrizio Romano @FabrizioRomano

Nicolas #Higuain, brother and agent of Gonzalo at @SkySport: "We are not in talks with Chelsea. He wants to respect his contract with Juventus, would be great to see Higuain and Cristiano Ronaldo playing together again". #CFC #Juventus

Ronaldo's nine years in Madrid have been triumphant, but the wheels appear to be engineering his exit from the Bernabeu as Mendes comes in for crunch negotiations with Perez.