‘Who can buy him? It’s a closed circle’: PSG director Leonardo hints deal possible if Cristiano Ronaldo seeks Juve exit strategy
Paris Saint-Germain director Leonardo suggests that his side is one of the few teams with pockets deep enough to afford Cristiano Ronaldo, should rumors of the Portuguese marksman’s desire to leave Juventus be true.
Numerous reports filtering out of Italy state that both Juventus and Ronaldo himself are considering parting ways, with the club said to be concerned with the eye-watering wages commanded by the five-time Ballon d’Or winning star – a figure that is thought to be around five times higher than Juve’s second highest-paid player, Paulo Dybala.
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With Ronaldo’s deal set to expire in the summer of 2022, that leaves next summer’s transfer window as the final opportunity to command a sizeable transfer fee for their prized asset before they run the risk of losing him for nothing the following year.
Should they be keen to do a deal, Leonardo says his club can more than afford it.
“Today in football we do not know what will happen,” he told the club’s television station, PSGTV.
“Maybe tomorrow Cristiano Ronaldo wakes up and says I want to go play elsewhere. Who can buy him? It’s a closed circle. PSG enters this circle. Usually it is about opportunities, situations.
“The transfer window, we have to prepare for it and that’s what we do. We have our priorities, our lists, but something unforeseen can happen.“
Several of Europe’s largest clubs have been in penny-pinching mode this year given the financial impact of the ongoing coronavirus crisis. But Leonardo believes that his side – who are backed by the extremely wealthy Qatar Sports Investments (QSI) – are immune to the crisis as things currently stand.
“Last year we lost between 15 and 20 percent [income] and this year it will be more,” Leonardo explained.
“But honestly, at PSG, there is the capacity and the means to overcome the crisis.
“The other clubs will perhaps have more difficulty to overcome the crisis. But the ambition here is always enormous.”
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Ronaldo, 35, has been a success in his two years in Italy, helping deliver Juventus their latest two Scudettos and hitting the net 71 times in his 94 appearances to date.
It remains to be seen exactly what size transfer fee that a somewhat vintage Ronaldo would command nowadays, but PSG are no strangers to issuing checks when they spot an investment opportunity – with the club already holding the top two spots for the most expensive transfers of all time.
The club paid an incredible £198 million (€222 million) for Neymar in 2017 and followed that up a year later with a £163 million (€180 million) move for French wonderkid Kylian Mbappe.