Cristiano Ronaldo is set to leave Juventus this season, manager Massimiliano Allegri said in a news conference on Friday.
The Portuguese forward joined the Italian club on a four-year deal for a reported $117 million transfer fee in 2018 but has less than one year left on his current contract.
“Yesterday, Cristiano told me that he no longer has any intention to play for Juventus. For this reason, he will not be called up for tomorrow’s game,” Allegri said.
“Things change, it’s a law of life. Juventus remains, which is the most important thing.
“Cristiano gave his contribution, he made himself available, now he leaves and life goes on.”
Allegri did not specify where Ronaldo would go next.
Ronaldo won the Serie A title in his first two seasons with the Old Lady but has been unable to lead the Italian club to the Champions League title – a competition he won four times with Real Madrid.
Juventus finished fourth last season and speculation over Ronaldo’s future has been swirling ever since.
Despite no official comment, multiple media reports have linked the five-time Ballon d’Or winner to both Manchester City and Ronaldo’s old club, Manchester United.
The 36-year-old scored 84 Premier League goals during his six-year stay at Old Trafford, winning three league titles and one Champions League while at the club.
During Euro 2020, Ronaldo equaled the all-time international goalscoring record of 109 international goals set by Iran’s Ali Daei.
A move to the Etihad Stadium would also see Ronaldo under the tutelage of Pep Guardiola, who has repeatedly praised Ronaldo’s rival Lionel Messi as the best player in the world.
‘Cristiano will decide’
City, which missed out on England captain Harry Kane this summer, still needs a striker to lead the line and there have been few better than Ronaldo in his career.
When asked about Ronaldo in a news conference on Friday, Guardiola said the situation was out of his hands.
“I cannot say much. Harry Kane announced he is continuing to his club, an exceptional club like Tottenham. Cristiano is a Juventus player and I can’t say anything else,” Guardiola said.
“All I can say in these three, four days left of the transfer window, anything can happen.
“Cristiano will decide where he wants to play, not Manchester City, not myself. There are many things that are far away.”
United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer meanwhile told a news conference that the club would welcome a return of the superstar.
“I don’t want to speculate too much. Cristiano has been a legend of this club, he is a legend of this club, he’s the greatest player of all time, if you ask me,” he said.
“I didn’t think Cristiano was gonna turn out leaving Juventus. It’s been speculation the last few days, of course.
“We’ve always had a good communication. I know Bruno [Fernandes] has been talking to him as well. He knows what we feel about him. If he was ever going to move from Juventus, he knows that we’re here.”