Investigators have reportedly discovered secret documents signed by Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus, which show the club promising their former striker almost €20million (£17m) during the Covid-19 pandemic.
As a result, the Italian giants — who had announced hefty salary reductions during that period — are under investigation for falsifying accounts, according to reports.
Juventus revealed in March 2020 that their players were waiving four months of wages because of the pandemic, and investigators are now trying to prove that this was not case.
According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, the Serie A club are suspected of having falsified their balance sheets during 2019, 2020 and 2021.
In addition, 16 of the club’s chiefs — including president Andrea Agnelli and vice president Pavel Nedved — are under investigation as confirmed by the Turin prosecutor.
Italy’s financial police Guardia Di Finanza are in the process of searching for private documents and agreements between the club and its players during this three-year period.
According to the Italian outlet, investigators have already found a secret document signed by Ronaldo and the club, which emerged from wiretaps of some of Juventus’ directors last December.
The report states that Juventus had promised to pay Ronaldo €19.9m even if he left the Serie A side, and prosecutors believe the agreement was not registered in the club’s financial declaration.
Fellow Italian newspaper La Stampa revealed on Monday that the 37-year-old had refused to talk to the Turin prosecutor when asked for a statement on the matter.
Juventus had reportedly been cleared of the accusation by the Sporting Justice earlier this year and clarified on Tuesday: ‘Salary reductions agreed with footballers in March 2020 would have been negotiated once competitions resumed and stadiums were reopened.’