Cristiano Ronaldo 'asked to be benched' for Juventus' season opener - report
Rumours of Cristiano Ronaldo looking for a move away from Juventus grew louder on Sunday after the Portuguese star started on the bench for his team's opening fixture of the new season at Udinese.
Sky Sport Italia claimed that Ronaldo asked to not be selected in the starting line-up, with the report stating that he hopes to leave the Serie A giants before the end of the month.
Ronaldo, who top-scored in Serie A last season with 29 goals, was absent for Juventus' final warm-up on Thursday.
The latest developments come after a summer in which media around Europe said that Ronaldo was looking at other clubs, with Real Madrid the front-runners.
However, on Tuesday Ronaldo had rubbished reports of a move to former club Real, calling them disrespectful and saying that stories were being written with “nobody ever being concerned about trying to find out the actual truth".
Club director Pavel Nedved insisted that Ronaldo was going to stay at Juventus. “You shouldn't try to create sensationalised stories where there aren't any,” the Czech told broadcaster DAZN.
“He isn't at peak fitness, and the coach tried to pick the best possible line-up for now … The decisions were made in order to be as competitive as possible today. He is absolutely staying at Juventus.”