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Champions League

‘I think Ronaldo is happy at Juventus’ – Morata optimistic Real Madrid-linked superstar will stay put

The Spanish striker is not worried that his team-mate could leave the Allianz Stadium in the summer transfer window

Alvaro Morata has expressed his belief that Cristiano Ronaldo is “happy” at Juventus and is optimistic he will stay put amid links with a return to Real Madrid.

Ronaldo is fast approaching the final year of his contract at Juve, who have yet to offer him the chance to extend his stay at the Allianz Stadium beyond 2022.

It has been reported that Madrid will seek to capitalise on the 36-year-old’s situation by luring him back to Santiago Bernabeu this summer, but Morata sees no reason why his team-mate would want to leave Turin.

What’s been said?

Five-time Champions League winner Ronaldo has yet to make it beyond the quarter-finals of the competition with Juve, but Morata doesn’t think the club’s latest failure in Europe will have caused the Portuguese to start contemplating his future.

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“He’s used to playing in Champions League finals. But he would have been the same in another club,” Morata told Cadena Ser.

“It’s not a Juve problem. He’s happy with the group but he’s used to winning, so it’s normal that he’s angry.

“I think he’s happy with the team. Juventus and I want him to stay, because Juventus must have the best players in the world.”

Morata added on the criticism that has been fired in Ronaldo’s direction since Juve’s Champions League last-16 defeat to Porto earlier this month: “They criticised us all.

“Of course, it bothers us. I’m the first to know about the criticism and Cristiano too. I don’t have to explain who Cristiano is, he always tries to defend the Juventus shirt.

“We are a team and I repeat, with the Supercoppa Italiana and hopefully the Coppa Italia, it won’t be a bad season.”

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Juve’s stance on Ronaldo

Paris Saint-Germain have also been credited with an interest in Ronaldo, alongside Madrid, with both clubs reported to be eyeing a cut-price deal for the five-time Ballon d’Or winner when the transfer market reopens.

Zinedine Zidane has even spoken out publicly to admit that Ronaldo would be welcomed back in the Spanish capital, but Juve have made it clear they have no plans to sell a prized asset.

The club’s managing director Fabio Paratici told reporters last weekend: “We’ve decided to keep Cristiano Ronaldo. He’s the best player in the world and we are holding on tight.”

Morata’s future

Morata joined Juve on loan from Atletico Madrid last summer, and they have the option to extend that agreement by an extra year at the end of the current campaign.

The Italian giants could also sign the 28-year-old outright for €45 million (£39m/$53m), but he claims to be in the dark with regards to what his short-term future holds.

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“When you are on loan and there are many clubs involved, your opinion doesn’t really matter,” said Morata. “I was happy at Atletico, I’m happy at Juventus.

“I have a contract, at the end of the year they will tell me something about it.

“For now, I haven’t talked to the club about this. I’m happy at Juventus, we are at the beginning of a new project and I’m happy here.”

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