Juventus signing Cristiano Ronaldo ‘a gamble’ – Napoli president
By Ben Gladwell, Italy correspondent
Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis believes Juventus took a risk in signing Cristiano Ronaldo — one he was not prepared to take.
De Laurentiis said the accounting did not make sense for Napoli, who were first offered the chance to sign Ronaldo before Juve completed a €100 million deal earlier this month.
“Spending so much money for a player at the end of his career is dangerous,” De Laurentiis told Mediaset’s Canale 5. “Let’s not forget, [Ronaldo] has a certain age and in terms of the club’s balance sheet, they have taken a gamble.
“Let’s see if in the end, the commercial success of the group will be greater than their sporting success.”
De Laurentiis said he made a proposal to Ronaldo’s agent, Jorge Mendes, that was turned down.
“[Ronaldo] has one of the most intelligent football agents around, and I had breakfast with him to discuss Rui Patricio,” De Laurentiis said, referring to the Sporting Lisbon goalkeeper who left for Wolverhampton Wanderers. “Then, when it became clear that Ronaldo was leaving Real Madrid, he offered me him. I imagined a transfer model based on the costs being recouped by the revenue caused by it.
“I had thought up a model which would see us break even. I proposed to Mendes that Napoli would keep the first €250m of revenue earned and then Ronaldo would receive the next €100m. But then Juve came in.”
Ronaldo, who began training with Juve on Monday, is set to make his debut in an in-house friendly on Aug. 12.