Juventus sporting director Fabio Paratici suggested Cristiano Ronaldo will remain at the club amidst reports of a possible departure in the summer. Ronaldo’s Juventus were beaten by Benevento in their previous Serie A match leaving them further behind in the league title race. Ronaldo, who joined Juventus from Real Madrid in 2018 for a world record transfer fee, has been linked with a departure from the club since Juventus’ unceremonious exit from the UEFA Champions League in the last 16 stage against Porto. But the club’s sporting director Paratici revealed that the club has no intention to allow Portuguese star to leave the club. Juventus Present Cristiano Ronaldo With 'GOAT 770' Jersey After Portuguese Star Surpasses Pele's Record.

Ronaldo was signed by Juventus to help them achieve European glory after five Champions League final defeats and a European dry run for the last 25 years. But since Ronaldo has joined, Juventus have even failed to make the UCL semi-final in the last three seasons. They were knocked out from the quarter-finals against Ajax in 2018 and have exited from the last 16 stage in the last two seasons after failing to beat Lyon and Porto. Cristiano Ronaldo Transfer Update: After Marcelo, Vinicius Jr Teases About CR7’s Return to Real Madrid.

With Juventus falling short in Europe for three successive seasons, Ronaldo has been linked with a move away from the club and is yet to renew his contract, which ends in the summer of 2022. Juventus are also reportedly reluctant in offering the five-time Ballon d’Or winner a new contract looking at his declining powers. His high wages is also a matter of concern for the club hierarchy especially during COVID times when most clubs have taken a hit to their finances.

Juventus Director Fabio Paratici Reveals Club Has No Intention of Allowing Cristiano Ronaldo to Leave

"We’ve decided to keep Cristiano Ronaldo. He’s the best player in the world and we are holding on tight,” the director was quoted as saying by Goal after the match against Benevento. “We have a project that we started from last season, one game will not change our views or our strategy. This line continues and we are very happy with what we’ve done, so we’ll continue working to improve,” he added.

Ronaldo has been linked with a move back to Real Madrid where he lifted four UEFA Champions League titles, including a hat-trick of UCL trophies between 2016 and 2018, in nine seasons and also won two La Liga trophies. Four of Ronaldo’s five Ballon d’Or trophies also came during his spell with Real Madrid. The club’s boss Zinedine Zidane has, however, denied reports of any return while Paris Saint-Germain, who have also been linked with Ronaldo, are yet to make a move.

Paratici also backed coach Andrea Pirlo after Juventus’ defeat to Benevento at home. The Serie A champions have lost four matches in the league this season and are 10 points behind league leaders Inter Milan. Their hopes of retaining the Serie A title for a 10th consecutive season seems to be virtually over after the defeat to Benevento. But Paritici offered full backing to Pirlo, who has come under severe pressure with his team underperforming in Europe as well as in the domestic league.

“Just as a defeat won’t change the project of a club, a victory won’t either. Once an approach has been decided on, we see it through,” said Paratici.  “I don’t believe the word ‘transitional’ exists at Juventus. We play every game aiming to win, some go better than others, but transition isn’t an issue here. Every year is important, even when it doesn’t necessarily have the same results as in the past.

“If we are just talking about results, there are clubs who had seven, eight or 10 years of transition in which they didn’t win anything and didn’t really lay down any foundations either. People might not have realised because we kept winning, but we have already made numerous changes over the years, reduced the age of the squad several times to build future success.”

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Mar 22, 2021 03:26 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).