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JUVENTUS

Juventus: Cristiano Ronaldo asks for Isco, Varane and João Félix

Juventus: Cristiano Ronaldo asks for Isco, Varane and João Félix

MARCO BERTORELLO

AFP

According to Corriere dello Sport, the Portugal captain has had a say in summer dealings and presented a list of six players he would like to join Juventus.

Cristiano Ronaldo announced he would be staying at Juventus to see out his contract after the Old Lady secured an eighth consecutive Scudetto last weekend, and the club wasted little time in placating their star player further by asking him for some recommendations in the transfer market this summer.

According to Italian sports daily Corriere dello Sport, Ronaldo obliged with a list of six players he would like the club to try and land ahead of the 2019-20 season and another assault on the Champions League after Juve’s quarter-final exit this season at the hands of Ajax, who also accounted for the Portuguese’s previous club, Real Madrid.

And it is precisely towards the Bernabéu that Ronaldo’s eyes alighted when he was asked for his opinion alongside Juve boss Massimiliano Allegri as to how the club can take that final step in Europe in search of a first Champions League triumph since 1995-96, with two former teammates topping his wish list.

Raphaël Varane

The central defender has been one of Madrid’s most consistent performers over the past few seasons and is a trusted man at the back in Ronaldo’s eyes. Juventus will not find negotiations easy, with Real unwilling to part company with the 25-year-old World Cup winner and a 500-million-euro release clause to get past before anyone gets to the table.

Isco

Ronaldo always stated his praise for the Spain midfielder and they enjoyed a good on-pitch connection at Madrid. Again, the stumbling block comes with Madrid’s willingness or otherwise to sell: a few weeks ago Isco was halfway out of the door but the return of Zinedine Zidane has altered his status and the Spain midfielder has rarely shown any genuine inclination to leave the Bernabéu.

Kostas Manolas

The ‘Greek commander’ is one of the finest central defenders in Serie A and has been a Roma stalwart since his arrival in 2014. Juve’s central defence is ageing and Andrea Barzaglia has already announced his decision to retire at the end of the season. At 27 and with a release clause of 36 million euros, Manolas would represent excellent business if Roma can be persuaded to sell.

Tanguy Ndombélé

The 22-year-old Lyon midfielder is being chased by half of Europe’s big spenders, including Zidane. His performances against Manchester City in the Champions League and consistency in Ligue 1 has caught the eye of Didier Deschamps and he could be the perfect long-term replacement for Sami Khedira.

Federico Chiesa

The 21-year-old has already been capped 11 times by Italy and has been one of the stand-out players in a Serie A season brimming with breakout stars. A player tipped for the top, Chiesa has scored 12 goals and provided eight assists in a fairly ordinary Fiorentina side this season and can operate on either wing.

João Félix

Every big club in Europe has both eyes on the Benfica youngster, who has emerged as one of Europe’s brightest young talents this season and hit an historic Europa League hat-trick against Frankfurt. Of course, Juventus hold the trump card: the 19-year-old attacking midfielder’s idol is Ronaldo, and the Portugal captain has specifically said he would like to play alongside his young compatriot.