Italian car manufacturer Fiat could finance Serie A champions Juventus’ move to sign Portuguese soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid.
The Italian soccer giants are reportedly in talks with the 33-year-old over a four-year contract after offering £88 million (US$117 million) to secure his services from the European champions.
If Juventus are to sign Ronaldo, they will have to pay the former Manchester United man €30 million per season in wages, which the club cannot afford without falling foul of Uefa’s Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules.
However, Italian outlet Sport Mediaset has reported that Fiat, which is an official partner of Juventus and deeply embedded in the club’s hierarchy, has offered to subsidise part of Ronaldo’s wage through a mega sponsorship deal which would likely see the Portugal captain become the face of the brand.
Fiat’s involvement comes through Juventus president Andrea Agnelli, whose family-owned holding company, Exor, also owns the Italian car manufacturing giant.
Suggestions that Fiat could help bring Ronaldo to Juventus have been met furiously by the company’s factory workers, who have not had a wage increase for ten years due to Fiat’s financial struggles.
Should the deal go through, it will end Ronaldo’s nine-year stay in Madrid, where he has racked up four Uefa Champions League titles, two La Liga crowns and two Copa del Reys.