Workers at Juventus sponsor Fiat are upset at reports that their supposedly cash-strapped employer has offered to help pay Cristiano Ronaldo's multi-million salary should be move to Turin.
The reported €100 million fee and four-year contract at €30m per season after tax would seriously stretch Juve's finances -- but Sport Mediaset has reported that Fiat has offered to take Ronaldo on as a brand ambassador, with the motor company and club sponsor then assuming a hefty part of the cost involved.
Gonzalo Higuain's €90m arrival at Juve from Napoli two years ago also angered some employees, and the proposed Ronaldo deal is being described as "shameful" in Italian press reports.
"After Higuain, now Cristiano Ronaldo too," said Gerardo Giannone, who works at Fiat's Pomigliano D'Arco factory near Napoli. "It is a disgrace. Fiat workers have not had a pay rise in 10 years. With Cristiano's salary we could give every worker an extra €200 [a month]."
Former Italy coach Dino Zoff had a different view on the potential transfer, as he told Radio Marca that bringing the five-time Ballon d'Or winner would be a coup for Serie A, although not a guarantee of Juve winning a first Champions League since 1996.
"[The Ronaldo signing] would be very important for Italian football, and for Juve to have him in their team," Zoff said. "Italian football would be getting back the very top players, like 10 or 15 years ago. Cristiano could help Juventus win the Champions League again, although it is not something mathematical."
Selene Scarsi contributed to this report.