MADRID (AFP) - The Spanish media said goodbye to superstar Cristiano Ronaldo on Friday (July 6), after persistent reports that the five-time Ballon d'Or winner will leave Spanish giants Real Madrid for Italian Serie A champions Juventus.
"Ciao CR7" said the headline of Barcelona newspaper Mundo Deportivo.
"Real accepts his departure, the key day will be today (Friday) and Juve wants to wrap up the operation so it can announce it," the newspaper said.
Spanish sport newspaper AS said that the player could be unveiled to Juve supporters in Turin as early as Saturday, with the date 7/7 symbolic for No. 7 Ronaldo.
Juventus "hopes to announce (the news) tomorrow in its stadium", said the paper, which had the headline "Cristiano exit imminent".
Ronaldo was applauded at Juventus Stadium by the club's fans last season after scoring a spectacular overhead kick in Real's Champions League quarter-final first-leg 3-0 victory.
Spain's Marca newspaper claimed that Ronaldo has "already given his word to (Andrea) Agnelli" the president of Juventus.
"His desire to play for Juve is strong," Marca said, cautioning that the Turin club had not yet received a firm offer from Real.
The paper also said that while Real maintain Ronaldo's buy-out clause is €1 billion (S$1.59 billion) - which would nix any potential transfer - "the player and his representatives say there is a signed document freeing him for 100 million".
Italian media welcomed the purported “imminent” arrival of Ronaldo, with Corriere Dello Sport also expecting him in Turin on Saturday.
“Italy is only a step away and Madrid is looking for its new top player,” the newspaper said.
Gazzetta Dello Sport had the headline, “CR7 Juve, we can do it”, and said the Bianconeri was “closer than ever to the deal of the century”.
Numerous media outlets have reported since Wednesday that Juventus have offered the galactico a four-year contract with €30 million per year.
The 33-year-old, whose Portugal were knocked out of the World Cup last 16 by Uruguay last Saturday, hinted after May's Champions League victory over Liverpool that he was considering leaving the Santiago Bernabeu.
Real have won the La Liga twice and the Champions League four times since Ronaldo moved there from Manchester United in 2009.