Cristiano Ronaldo news: Former Real Madrid star was offered to Napoli before Juventus move
What's the story?
According to Napoli's sporting director Cristiano Giuntoli, Ronaldo was offered to the Blues prior to his €100 million transfer to Juventus from Real Madrid.
In case you didn't know...
In the summer transfer window of 2018, Cristiano Ronaldo ended his 9-year stint at Real Madrid to join Juventus. Since his departure, the Portuguese megastar has maintained that the Old Lady was always his intended destination, though his agent pursued other options too, as per the story.
The heart of the matter
After Ronaldo's decision to make a move away from Real Madrid, his agent Jorge Mendes was assigned the task of finding suitors for him. As Mendes had already conducted business with Napoli, the Serie A club was sought out by him.
Cristiano Giuntoli told Sky Sports Italia: "We [Napoli] have a close relationship with Jorge since [Faouzi] Ghoulam's contract renewal and we often speak to him.
"I was with [Napoli chairman Aurelio] De Laurentiis when he made the offer to us.
"We went quiet and upon going into the details of the operation we realised that it was out of our reach."
This gave Juventus the opportunity to strike while the iron was hot and they made a move to secure Ronaldo's services.
Their sporting director, Fabio Paratici, told reporters at the Dubai International Sports Conference: “It all happened very quickly. It was a historic transfer, and we need to thank the president and Real Madrid because selling a player like that isn’t easy.
“The first contact was in the Champions League quarter-finals, Jorge Mendes told me that Cristiano Ronaldo wanted to sign for Juventus.
“I thought it was a joke, then we met to discuss Cancelo and he brought Ronaldo up again. At that point, I realised we could try, and I went to talk to [president Andrea] Agnelli.
“It wasn’t easy, but he was immediately positive from a technical point of view, as well as the player’s motivation and what he could bring to our brand.
“After a few hours, he called me back and told me to try.”
Juventus are set to take on Bologna in a Coppa Italia game on 12 January. Ronaldo has been invaluable to their season so far, but if Giuntoli is to be believed, he could have been Juve's biggest nightmare.