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Ronaldo's not easy to replace, says Juve sporting director

AFP  |  Milan 

Juventus sporting said Monday it was not easy to replace a of the calibre of as he also dismissed a return to for Manchester United's French winner

Ronaldo, 33, joined Juventus from Real Madrid last summer for 100 million euros (USD 115 million).

The Spanish club have lost three and drawn one of their last four matches and are currently fourth in

"is probably the best in the history of the game so he isn't easy to replace," Paratici told journalists at the Manlio Scopigno ceremony at Rieti in after receiving a "Manager of the Year" award.

Paratici revealed that the five-time Ballon d'Or winner had been keen from the outset to join Juventus.

"We talked about it initially, and straight away we got the feeling he wanted to join us, which was a huge advantage," he said.

"Real Madrid had a gentleman's agreement with him, the ownership kicked things off and negotiations began." Paratici stressed Juventus's support for the Portuguese star Ronaldo, currently embroiled in damaging rape allegations.

"Cristiano is a very simple person and an excellent professional, he has all our support," said Paratici.

The Juventus sporting ruled out a return of French winner Pogba, who played for the side from 2012 to 2016.

The 26-year-old has been told he will not United again after reportedly falling out with

"We love him very much," said Paratici.

"We want him to do well since we are close to him but he isn't a Juve anymore.

"We're connected to him, but we've never thought about it and we're not going to think about it."

joined United from Juventus for a then world record fee of 89 million in 2016.

Paratici, 46, also denied a move for Lazio's Serbian Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, saying: "He's a great player, but we haven't spoken to him or Lazio".

Paratici is set to have more responsibility within Juventus after the departure of

"Up to now I was happy with my position but things will now probably change a little.

"My goal will always stay the same, to make Juve as strong as possible. I want to dedicate the award I won today to Mr. Marotta who was like a father to me.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, October 09 2018. 09:45 IST