Premier League • England

Cristiano Ronaldo and Liverpool hero set for mind-blowing link up, with Al Nassr ‘in talks’ over huge swoop

Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah, Liverpool

Fans of Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr will be in dreamland after learning their club are in discussions over the signing of a Liverpool icon, which could result in a devastating attacking partnership with Cristiano Ronaldo.

Portugal international Ronaldo surprisingly joined Al Nassr in January following the mutual termination of his Manchester United contract. Ronaldo has started a trend in the Middle East, with big names such as Karim Benzema, N’Golo Kante, Roberto Firmino, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Ruben Neves following him to the Saudi Pro League.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner bagged 14 goals in 16 games last term, but Al Nassr finished in second place and lost out on the title to Al Ittihad by five points.

They have since strengthened the side with the additions of midfielders Marcelo Brozovic and Seko Fofana, while Man Utd left-back Alex Telles could soon join as well.

But if Al Nassr are to win their first league crown since 2019, then they could do with adding more firepower to help Ronaldo out in the goalscoring department. And according to The Athletic, Ronaldo could soon be joined by former Liverpool ace Sadio Mane.

They reveal that Mane, who now represents Bayern, is ‘in talks’ with Al Nassr over a possible lucrative move to the club. One of his agents recently met Al Nassr sporting director Goran Vucevic in Portugal to discuss a potential move.

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It is not yet clear how Mane feels about leaving Europe, or how much Al Nassr might be willing to spend on him. But Thomas Tuchel and Bayern would probably jump at the chance to sell Mane.

Bayern paid Liverpool £35million to sign the Senegalese star in July 2022. He was brought in to help replace Robert Lewandowski.

Bayern could cash in on Al Nassr target

However, Mane’s spell in Germany has not gone to plan. His goal record fell to 12 strikes in 38 games, a significant drop on his Liverpool numbers. And he was also suspended in April for allegedly hitting team-mate Leroy Sane in the face.

Reports have previously suggested Tuchel wants Mane gone so he can bring in another new attacker, most likely Harry Kane. And Al Nassr will probably be willing to pay the most for Mane, 31.

The Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF), who own Newcastle and several of Saudi Arabia’s top teams – including Al Nassr – have overpaid on multiple players from Europe. Just look at centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly, who cost Al Hilal £17m earlier this summer.

Koulibaly is 32, putting him in the twilight years of his career, and he endured a poor season at Chelsea in 2022-23. Due to this, no clubs in Europe would have matched the £17m sum Al Hilal paid.

This is not the first time Mane has been tipped to join a Saudi club. On July 5, it emerged that Al Ahli were hoping to reunite him with former Liverpool team-mate Firmino. Now though, it looks like Mane is more likely to sign for Al Nassr.

At their peak, Ronaldo and Mane were two incredible forwards who not only finished chances but also created chances for themselves. While they might not be at their best anymore, it would be frightening to see the duo link up in the same attack next season.

Meanwhile, Thursday’s Euro Paper Talk includes Man Utd rivalling Liverpool and Newcastle for the capture of a Serie A star.