Cristiano Ronaldo is on the brink of securing a move to Al Nassr after the Saudi Arabian club booked in the talismanic forward for a medical.
The saga of where the veteran Portuguese star will play next has been the subject of intense speculation ever since an explosive interview with Piers Morgan. That led to the player parting ways with Manchester United; the club tearing up his deal and Erik ten Hag coming to a brutal two-word verdict.
His agent Jorge Mendes has held discussions with a number of potential suitors as he looked to get him fixed up for the new year.
But with several big names fading from the race, it soon became clear that one destination was leading the chase.
After much debate over where Ronaldo will move to next, it seems he has settled on Saudi Arabia. He will sign a two-and-a-half year deal in Riyadh worth an astonishing £173m a year. That deal will also see Ronaldo handed a big role in the running of Al Nassr as well as looking to help bring the 2030 World Cup to Saudi Arabia.
And now, according to CBS Sport, that move is inching closer with a medical booked in and accommodation reserved for player and his advisors.
There also seems a growing belief the Ronaldo transfer will be sealed before the January window officially opens.
There is also a belief that Ronaldo could be joined soon by a familar face, with a popular Chelsea star reportedly set to follow Ronaldo to Saudi.
Ronaldo transfer talks latest
Al Nassr club chief Marcelo Salazar admits talks for the Ronaldo transfer are well underway. However, he is refusing to confirm that his signing is immiment.
Speaking to Flashscore, Salazar said “I’m not allowed to say yes or no. Let’s wait and see how things unfold until the end of the year.
“As you can see, this is a negotiation of enormous magnitude. Not only for the club, but for the country and for world football, and which has to be conducted by higher authorities.
“What I can say is that Ronaldo is one of the best in football history.
“He has always been an example for me as an athlete, for the will he shows to win. And then, as a Portuguese citizen, I was always rooting for him.”
Critics of the move believe Ronaldo is selling himself short by moving to Saudi Arabia. However, Salazar is adamant that the standard of football is better than many give credit for.
“I’ve been here for five years. And all the players I’ve spoken to were very positively surprised when they arrived here. That is especially because of the level of the league,” he added.
“Living in Riyadh and with the families it has been a pleasant surprise for the players with the schools and everything we have here.”
Fabio Capello criticises Ronaldo
However, Ronaldo’s actions have not gone down well with all concerned.
Former England coach Fabio Capello has questioned the player’s ways, believing he is only in it for himself. And in highlighing Portugal’s exit at the 2022 World Cup, he believes the player’s arrogance brings things upon himself.
Furthermore, he reckons his selfish ways have cost him a move to one of European football’s super-clubs.
“Ronaldo brought it onto himself and for what he’s done in his career, it’s a shame,” Capello said on the 37-year-old’s disappointing exit at the World Cup.
“As a player, he can’t be questioned, but he was arrogant. He offered himself without finding any club that would believe in him; he’s become a bit cumbersome for a team.”