Cristiano Ronaldo has taken a major step towards completing an astonishing move to Manchester City with the Juventus forward reported to have agreed personal terms with the Premier League champions.
According to The Independent, the 36-year-old has already spoken with Pep Guardiola and will earn upwards of £250,000-a-week, should City agree a fee with the Serie A giants.
Ronaldo’s agent, Jorge Mendes, jetted flew to Turin on Thursday to hold crisis talks with Juventus chiefs over the future of his most high-profile and lucrative client.
Publicly, Juventus maintain they are against selling their prize-asset but the Independent claims they are desperate to get the former Real Madrid and Manchester United superstar off their wage bill.
Juventus had dominated Italian football for the best part of a decade, but their scattergun transfer strategy saw them surrender the Serie A title last season to Inter, while they only just scraped into this season’s Champions League.
Mendes, meanwhile, has sounded out Paris Saint-Germain about the potential of uniting Ronaldo with his long-time rival Lionel Messi, but City have emerged as the clear favourites to land the Portugal international.
Ronaldo is said to be intent on joining a club that offers him the chance of competing for football’s biggest prizes, both team and individual, as he enters the final stage of his record-breaking career.
City had coveted Harry Kane, but their summer-long pursuit came to an abrupt end on Wednesday when the England captain committed his short-term future to his boyhood club.
Guardiola and City broke the British transfer record earlier this summer when they paid Aston Villa £100m for Jack Grealish, but have been frustrated in their efforts to replace all-time leading goalscorer Sergio Aguero.
More: Premier League
The Argentine joined Barcelona following the experiation of his contract, and his absence was immediately felt as City’s attack was easily blunted during their opening weekend defeat at Spurs.
Ferran Torres led the line on that occasion, while Guardiola has experimented with the likes of Raheem Sterling in a false nine position in several high-profile matche with mixed results.
Gabriel Jesus, meanwhile, starred in last weekend’s 5-0 win over Norwich, but was stationed out on the right wing and looked far more comfortable in that position.
For more stories like this, check our sport page