Cristiano Ronaldo is ready to demand Juventus repay him for £16.2million of wages that he agreed to defer during the Covid pandemic – just weeks after agreeing to leave Manchester United for nothing, according to reports. The Portuguese superstar tore up his contract at Old Trafford in late November and forfeited around £12m of wages in the six months that were left on his £500,000-a-week deal.
The 37-year-old is now a free agent after being allowed to leave United on a free transfer, following his public falling out with Erik ten Hag over his controversial Piers Morgan interview. He has been linked with mega-money moves to Saudi Arabia, with Al Nassr prepared to offer him a two-year deal worth £344m – which would make him football’s highest-paid player in history.
Ronaldo agreed not to pursue a pay-off from his lucrative deal after it was suggested the club could have pursued legal action for a breach of contract, with Ronaldo attacking several members of the club’s hierarchy and playing alumni, in addition to levelling criticism at Ten Hag.
But as a way of reclaiming some of his lost earnings, reports in Italy claim the veteran star is set to demand that he is compensated the full amount in unpaid wages that he deferred during the pandemic. At the time, Juventus were forced to drastically cut their wage bill as the Serie A campaign was interrupted by the global virus.
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Ronaldo’s demand could exacerbate the issues Juventus are currently facing with the Serie A giants under investigation from UEFA for Financial Fair Play (FFP) irregularities.
An investigation has been opened into the Bianconeri’s finances after reports that they secretly agreed to paid their squad during the first few months of the COVID pandemic in 2020, despite publicly stating that salary payments had been temporarily suspended.
Such a move was not supposedly communicated to the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) or stock market, being kept off their reported balance sheets.
Agnelli, Cherubini and director Pavel Nedved are among the board members to have resigned from their positions for their alleged roles in the situation. And if Ronaldo decides to cash in his chips, the Italian giants could be facing a difficult period to pay him back.