Juventus sporting director Fabio Paratici said on Monday it was not easy to replace a player of the calibre of Cristiano Ronaldo as he also dismissed a return to Italy for Manchester United’s French World Cup winner Paul Pogba.
Ronaldo, 33, joined Juventus from Real Madrid last summer for €100 million.
“Ronaldo is probably the best player in the history of the game so he isn’t easy to replace,” Paratici told journalists at the Manlio Scopigno ceremony at Rieti in central Italy after receiving a “Manager of the Year” award. Place bet on today’s games on NaijaBet
Paratici revealed that the five-time Ballon d’Or winner had been keen from the outset to join Juventus.
“Real Madrid had a gentleman’s agreement with him, the ownership kicked things off and negotiations began.”
Paratici stressed Juventus’s support for the Portuguese star Ronaldo, currently embroiled in damaging rape allegations.
The Juventus sporting director ruled out a return of French World Cup winner Pogba, who played for the Turin side from 2012 to 2016.
“We love him very much,” said Paratici.
“We want him to do well since we are close to him but he isn’t a Juve player anymore.
“We’re connected to him, but we’ve never thought about it and we’re not going to think about it.”
Pogba joined United from Juventus for a then world record fee of £89 million in 2016.
Paratici, 46, also denied a move for Lazio’s Serbian midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, saying: “He’s a great player, but we haven’t spoken to him or Lazio”.
Paratici is set to have more responsibility within Juventus after the departure of general manager Giuseppe Marotta.
“My goal will always stay the same, to make Juve as strong as possible. I want to dedicate the award I won today to Mr. Marotta who was like a father to me.”