Cristiano Ronaldo is on the bench for Juventus’ opening-game trip to Udinese in Serie A after reportedly requesting to be left out of the line-up.
The 36-year-old has a year left on his current contract and has been offered to Manchester City during a summer of intense speculation about his future.
Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano claims Ronaldo’s absence from the starting XI is a request by the player himself ‘because he hopes to find a solution’ in the transfer market over the coming days, adding that no official bids have been lodged for the superstar forward.
Manager Massimiliano Allegri, who has returned to the Old Lady hotseat following Andrea Pirlo’s dismissal, said in his pre-match press conference that Ronaldo had told him he would stay at Juve.
Fans had been concerned that Ronaldo did not feature on Thursday in a training match against the Under-23 team, but Allegri sought to allay their concerns, saying: ‘Ronaldo didn’t play on Thursday because we were coming off a heavy training workload and I gave him half a day off.
‘Ronaldo is an added bonus for us, because he guarantees a large number of goals. Obviously, we also have to work as a team to get the best out of an individual.
‘He has always trained well, I just read the gossip in the papers. He never told us he wanted to leave. Ronaldo told me that he is staying at Juventus.’
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