Italian police ‘could summon Ronaldo for questioning’

Manchester United superstar Cristiano Ronaldo could be grilled by Italian officials amid an investigation into former club Juventus, according to reports in Italy.

The Serie A giants' offices in Turin and Milan were hit by a financial police raid last Friday with paperwork pertaining to player contracts as well as invoices and other similar paperwork taken in as evidence.   

From 2019 to 2021, the Old Lady, as they are known in Italy, are accused of falsely recording transfer values to get around Financial Fair Play regulations with six figures including president Andrea Agnelli and vice-president Pavel Nedved said to be under investigation for up to 42 deals.

Additionally, after allegedly being made aware by telephone conversations, officials want to know more about purported payments made to Ronaldo between March and April 2020 at the height of lockdown while those to other teammates were frozen.

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Cristiano Ronaldo left Juventus to join Man United in August © Massimo Pinca / Reuters
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La Gazzetta dello Sport have claimed that developments around Ronaldo could see him questioned by the Turin Public Prosecutor, with it believed that there was a possible secret agreement between the five-time Ballon d'Or winner and Juventus related to deferred salaries during the pandemic or severance pay he was due when leaving for Old Trafford on transfer deadline day. 

More specifically, the phone calls are said to involve Juve directors talking about a "document that should not have theoretically existed," though the file is yet to be found by investigators. 

As the questioning of Juventus directors has reportedly failed to help explain the deal struck with Ronaldo, prosecutors could question him too. 

Through his agent Jorge Mendes, they could also summon him to return to Italy to make that happen. There is no suggestion of any wrongdoing by Ronaldo in the case. 

Joining from Real Madrid in 2018 for $139.5 million, Ronaldo notched 101 goals in 134 appearances for Juventus while winning Serie A and the Supercoppa twice and the Coppa Italia once.

Surrendering a nine-year stranglehold on the top flight title to Inter in May, the Bianconeri have worsened in his absence since returning to Manchester United and were booed by home fans following a 1-0 loss to Atalanta on Saturday. 

Now in seventh and seven points adrift of Champions League qualifying, Juve could be relegated to Serie B and have their last title win in 2020 stripped away because of the investigation, a consumer rights watchdog has claimed – a similar fate to the one seen in 2006 at the conclusion of the Calciopoli match-fixing scandal.

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