Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri has insisted that the decision to bench Cristiano Ronaldo ahead of his meeting with Udinese on Sunday was his and his alone, despite reports suggesting that the Portuguese international wanted to be left out.
Shortly after the team news came out, it was claimed that Ronaldo had personally asked to start on the bench because he hopes to be able to leave the club before the end of the transfer window and was anxious to maintain his condition.
Ronaldo was reported to have asked to be benched / Alessandro Sabattini / Getty Images
Unsurprisingly, it was all someone wanted to talk about after the match, but Allegri was not interested in humorizing the story and did his best to try to calm things down.
“Ronaldo is fine. I had talked to him before the match and said he would start on the bench,” Allegri told DAZN (via Sky Sports News). “He made himself available, he did well when he came on the field.”
Vice President Pavel Nedved also had the chance to talk about the situation, and the former winger was determined that Ronaldo was happy at the club and would not be sold.
“We must not try to create sensational stories where there are none,” Nedved added. “It was a decision that was shared with the player. At the beginning of the season, of course, he is not in top condition. The coach is trying to use the best line-up right now.
“I can definitely confirm that Ronaldo will stay at Juventus this season.”
Despite this defiant attitude from Juventus, rumors about Ronaldo’s future will continue to swirl. The 36-year-old, who has 12 months left on his contract, is said to be worried in Turin and is looking for a new home.
FT | ⌛️ | Our opening day ends in a draw. #UdineseJuve #FinoAllaFine #ForzaJuve pic.twitter.com/bSAG3xWXNm
– JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) August 22, 2021
The main problem with that is the lack of viable alternatives for Ronaldo. Real Madrid have publicly excluded themselves from the race, while Paris Saint-Germain will not sign him after taking in Lionel Messi.
A return to England has been suggested, but even then there are problems. Manchester United have always done their utmost to distance themselves from Ronaldo, while Manchester City are laser-focused on Tottenham’s Harry Kane.