Juventus’ pre-season plans not driven by Cristiano Ronaldo allegations

Juventus’ decision to play in the International Champions Cup in Asia instead of the United States was not made to specifically avoid potential difficulties with Cristiano Ronaldo.

A report claimed the Serie A side will not play pre-season games in the USA due to the ongoing enquiries into a rape allegation made against the Portugal international.

It had been suggested competition organisers made a choice to keep Juve out of America to avoid the risk of Ronaldo being detained by the authorities as part of the investigation into the allegations in Las Vegas – which the player denies.

Press Association Sport understands a decision was made by Juventus several months ago to tour the Far East to spread their exposure after successive summers in the USA and not in relation to Ronaldo’s case.

Three of their last four appearances in the competition have been in America, the other was in Australia in 2016, and it is understood club officials view the switch as a “normal change” over a three-year period.

Two months after Ronaldo made his £99million move from Real Madrid the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department announced it had reopened an investigation into accusations by an American woman that Ronaldo raped her in 2009 and later paid £285,000 for her silence.

In a social media post Ronaldo claimed it was “fake news” and his lawyers have repeatedly denied the claims.

In October Juventus issued a statement in which they said: “Ronaldo has shown in recent months his great professionalism and dedication, which is appreciated by everyone at Juventus.

“The events allegedly dating back to almost 10 years ago do not change this opinion, which is shared by anyone who has come into contact with this great champion.”