Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo has joined Juventus, becoming one of the four most expensive players of all time, BBC learns.
A deal worth 112m euros (£99.2m) has been reached between the two clubs that has seen the Portuguese sign a four-year deal with the Italian champions.
Ronaldo, 33, won four Champions League titles in his nine years at Real.
“The time has come to open a new stage in my life, that’s why I asked the club to accept transferring me,” he said.
The top two world record transfer fees have been paid out by Paris St-Germain – the £200m they paid Barcelona for Brazil forward Neymar last August, and the fee of around £166m for France forward Kylian Mbappe in July after a successful season on loan with PSG.
Barcelona also paid Liverpool £142m for Brazil midfielder Philippe Coutinho in January. For Juventus, the fee they will pay for Ronaldo is set to eclipse the £75.3m they paid for forward Gonzalo Higuain from Napoli in July 2016.
Juventus are set to play Real Madrid in a pre-season International Champions Cup tournament in the United States, with the match taking place at FedEx Field in Washington on Saturday, 4 August.
Ronaldo joined Real from Manchester United for £80m in July 2009 and scored a club-record 450 goals and won the Ballon D’Or – awarded to the world’s best footballer – in 2008, 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017.
He has helped them win the Champions League in four of the past five seasons, scoring in the 2014 and 2017 finals.
“For Real Madrid Cristiano Ronaldo will always be one of the great symbols,” said a club statement. Real Madrid wants to express its gratitude to a player who has proved to be the best in the world and who has marked one of the brightest times in the history of our club and world football. Real Madrid will always be your home.”
Despite their dominance in Europe’s premier club competition, Real struggled domestically, finishing 17 points behind champions Barcelona last season.
Real are keen on reshaping their team under new manager Julen Lopetegui and the 33-time La Liga winners have also been linked with a move for Paris St-Germain’s 26-year-old Brazil forward Neymar.
However, it would be a controversial move as Neymar spent four years at Real’s fierce rivals Barcelona before joining PSG in his world record transfer of £200m last summer.
Real have also been linked with a move for another PSG forward, Mbappe, the 19-year-old who has helped France reach the semi-finals of the World Cup.
Juventus were made aware a few weeks ago that Ronaldo might be available on favourable terms. Ronaldo had a buyout clause worth $1bn (£886m) and Juventus were told Real Madrid were willing to accept £100m and Juventus were willing to pursue that even though it would mean restructuring their wage system.
Sources said Juventus president, Andrea Agnelli, boarded a plane and then got a helicopter to see Ronaldo on holiday in Greece. They are calling it the deal of the century in Italy.
Juventus have reached the Champions League final twice in the last four years and lost both. One of those defeats was to Ronaldo’s Real Madrid. He scored in the final in Cardiff and he knocked them out in the quarters this year. They believe he is the difference and the player who could achieve the Champions League with Juventus for the first time in 23 years.
Winning the trophy has been an obsession for them. This is much more than about football it’s about them going to the next level as a business. When Deloitte ranked the 10 richest clubs in the world earlier this year, Juventus were only 10th. They believe by being able to leverage and monetising some of his followers on social media and his commercial deals, will help them close the gap financially on Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester United.
The Italians are confident there could be an announcement this evening, although the finer details of the deal would take a few more days. Juventus’ share prices on the stock exchange sky-rocketed by 33%.