Juventus vice-president Pavel Nedved insists Cristiano Ronaldo is not playing against Udinese due to fitness issues and is ‘absolutely’ staying at the club.
The Serie A opener at the Dacia Arena kicks off at 17.30 UK time (16.30 GMT).
“We have wonderful sensations, as the coach and his staff worked very well, even if he only had players available from August 2. We are enthusiastic and eager to do well,” Nedved told DAZN.
Ronaldo is surprisingly on the bench, with Sky Sport Italia claiming that CR7 personally asked to be left out because he is pushing for an exit before transfer deadline day.
“We mustn’t try to create sensational stories where there aren’t any,” smiled Nedved.
“It was a decision shared with the player. At the start of the season, naturally he is not at top fitness. The coach is trying to use the best line-up at this moment, for example Giorgio Chiellini is also on the bench today.
“The decisions were made to be most competitive today.”
So can Nedved confirm Ronaldo is staying at Juventus?
“I can absolutely confirm Ronaldo will remain at Juventus this season.”
It was reported the Portugal international is looking for an exit, but has no formal offers, the only potential clubs who could afford his salary being Manchester United, Real Madrid, PSG or Manchester City.
Juventus would also have to sell at €30m to avoid making a loss on his original transfer fee.