Agent: Ronaldo 'eternally grateful' to Madrid if he leaves

Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo, right, leaves the field after the round of 16 match between Uruguay and Portugal at the 2018 soccer World Cup at the Fisht Stadium in Sochi, Russia, Saturday, June 30, 2018. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

MADRID — Cristiano Ronaldo's agent has told Portuguese media that the player would be "eternally grateful" to Real Madrid if he ends up leaving the European champion.

Jorge Mendes was quoted as saying in Portuguese newspaper Record that Ronaldo would always be grateful to "the club, the president, the directors, the medical staff, all the workers without exception and all the Madrid fans around the world."

Local media in Spain and Italy claim Ronaldo has already reached a deal to sign with Serie A team Juventus, although neither club has officially confirmed the negotiations.

Mendes was quoted by Record on Thursday as saying that "if that happens, it will be just a new phase and a new challenge in his brilliant career."

Ronaldo hinted after the Champions League final in May that he could be leaving Madrid. He said he would discuss his club future while with Portugal at the World Cup, but never did.

Portugal was eliminated by Uruguay in the round of 16.

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More AP Spanish soccer coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/LaLiga

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