Cristiano Ronaldo next club named with Man Utd legend to link up with ex-Arsenal star in mind-boggling move

Portugal striker Cristiano Ronaldo

Where Cristiano Ronaldo will play his club football in 2023 and beyond has been revealed, with the ex-Man Utd striker due to sign a two-and-a-half year deal that includes a mind-boggling salary, per a report.

The Portuguese icon, 37, left Manchester United on November 20 by mutual agreement. Cristiano Ronaldo did exactly what he was brought in to do in his first season back at Old Trafford, top-scoring with 24 goals across all competitions.

However, he was quickly pushed down the order by new boss Erik ten Hag and the demotion went down like a lead balloon with the great man.

Disciplinary issues blighted the last six months of his career and a parting of ways looked necessary for all involved. In the aftermath of an ill-advised and explosive interview with TalkTV, Man Utd sprang into action and cut the relationship with Ronaldo short.

At 37, the striker’s best days are clearly behind him, though that’s not to say he doesn’t still have something to offer.

It was widely reported Ronaldo wished to remain in one of Europe’s big five leagues, specifically at a club who could satisfy his Champions League demands.

However, concrete interest did not emerge, with the only formal offer coming from Saudi Arabian side, Al Nassr.

Ronaldo had been working on his fitness at Real Madrid’s Valdebebas training complex following Portugal’s World Cup exit. However, that was a simple gesture of good will from Los Blancos and was not with a view to a remarkable return.

Instead, Spanish outlet Marca report it’s Al Nassr who are poised to unveil Ronaldo before 2022 is out.

They report talks with Al Nassr began as soon as Ronaldo’s United exit was rubberstamped. A two-and-a-half-year deal running until the summer of 2025 is expected to be signed, with Ronaldo reportedly recently flying to Dubai ahead of the move.

Al Nassr expect to seal the huge coup for Saudi Arabian football before the calendar rolls over to 2023. In doing so, the the former Man Utd striker will sign a deal worth a mind-boggling €200m-a-year (approx. £3.35m per week).

Ronaldo’s colossal pay packet will come from both his salary and the lucrative endorsements he’ll sign. Predictably, it’ll make him the highest paid athlete on the planet, and by some margin too.

What can Ronaldo expect in Saudi Arabia?

Al Nassr currently top the Saudi Arabian Pro League and the winners of that competition qualify for the AFC Champions League (the Asian equivalent to Europe’s competition).

They’ve won seven, drawn one and lost one of their first nine league matches this term. Their first fixture in 2023 is against Al Tai on January 5 and that clash could be where Ronaldo makes his debut.

If the move does go through, Ronaldo will link up with former Arsenal stopper David Ospina in the Saudi capital of Riyadh, where Al Nassr are based.

Other familiar names among the club’s ranks are former Benfica forward Anderson Talisca, ex-Brazil international Luis Gustavo and Cameroon’s Vincent Aboubakar.

Among those Ronaldo could line up against include former Man Utd striker, Odion Ighalo.

The Nigerian has scored seven in 13 for Al Hilal this season while playing alongside ex-West Brom talisman, Matheus Pereira.

Ronaldo will certainly fancy his chances of finding the net with regularity in Saudi Arabia.

READ MORE: Major Man Utd breakthrough as Ten Hag nears striker signing for price that’ll spare his blushes