Real Madrid have called for face-to-face negotiations with Juventus over Cristiano Ronaldo as the player’s attempts at forcing his way out of the club gain momentum.
Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes has been told by Real Madrid chief executive Jose Angel Sanchez that Madrid will insist on a €100m (£88m) transfer fee for the 33-year-old.
Mendes is confident Juventus can satisfy those demands and Madrid see direct negotiations with the Italian club as the next step in his sale.
Real president Florentino Perez will take the final decision on Ronaldo’s future. If he decides to sell, Juventus are set to offer Ronaldo a four-year contract until he is 37.
Juventus are confident selling Chelsea target Gonzalo Higuain will help them pay what would be first installment of his transfer fee and Juventus sponsors Fiat could help pay his wages.
The car manufacturer would sign a sponsorship deal with the player to take his earnings up to the €30m (£26.5m) a season he wants.
Madrid made Ronaldo an offer of £26.5m a year last January, but the new salary was dependent on him reaching certain targets and Ronaldo took offence at such an incentive-loaded new deal.
After refusing to accept Madrid’s offer, Ronaldo asked Madrid to reduce his unreachable €1bn release clause. The club said they would accept an offer of €100m.
Mendes arranged talks with Juventus’ sporting director Fabio Paratici and Juventus have bought into the idea of giving one of the all-time greats a Serie A swansong.
There is already a bond between the player and Juventus supporters established last season in the Champions League when they gave him an ovation for his spectacular goal against them and he responded, hand on heart, ‘that has never happened to me before in my career.’