Cristiano Ronaldo has been linked with a move to Saudi Arabia after his Manchester United exit – and one club in the country has now made a formal offer for his services, according to a report.
Ronaldo’s contract with Man Utd was terminated by mutual agreement this week. The decision came after his controversial interview with Piers Morgan, in which he said he had no respect for Erik ten Hag and felt “betrayed” by the club in his second spell.
Now, once the World Cup is over, Ronaldo will have to find a new club. He already wanted to in the summer, after Man Utd failed to qualify for the Champions League, but was unable to generate much interest from within Europe.
With that in mind, Ronaldo has been tipped to start a new adventure in another continent. For example, there have been suggestions of a move to the USA, Australia or Middle East.
In terms of the latter, Saudi Arabian giants Al Hilal – Asia’s most successful club – are reportedly ready to ask Ronaldo to name his price for a contract offer.
But one of their domestic rivals, Al Nassr, appear to have gone even further by putting an offer on the table.
According to CBS Sports, Al Nassr have submitted the first “formal” contract offer to Ronaldo. Their proposition is a three-year deal worth $75million per year (almost £1.2million per week).
Talks are said to be “relatively advanced” after Al Nassr originally tried to tempt Ronaldo in the summer. Now, they describe their interest as “stronger than ever”.
Ronaldo will have the final say after the World Cup. If he says yes, it will be a quick process to pull together his official contract, per the report.
Cristiano Ronaldo could take on new challenge in Saudi Arabia
Should Ronaldo fulfil a three-year commitment with Al Nassr, he would be playing into his 40s. It would be his first experience of representing a club outside Europe.
With his options on the continent decreasing further, a lucrative switch to Saudi Arabia could be a possibility for the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.
He may have a point to prove after his lack of starts under Ten Hag at Man Utd. The Saudi Pro League would be a different stage for him to express his elite talents on, but one he might take in his stride.
Al-Nassr already have a few players who have played in Europe before in their squad. For example, their goalkeeper is ex-Arsenal man David Ospina, while they also have former Benfica forward Talisca, one-time Bayern Munich midfielder Luiz Gustavo and past Porto striker Vincent Aboubakar.
Managed by Rudi Garcia, they are currently second in the Saudi Pro League, having finished third last season.
While they have some names of pedigree, there is no doubt that Ronaldo would instantly become the focal point of their squad if he was to join. Only time will tell if he chooses that route, but he won’t want to be a free agent for too much longer.