Al Nassr have been linked to a move for the Potuguese free agent
Saudi Arabian team Al Nassr say they have not held talks with Cristiano Ronald amid their reported interest in signing the Portuguese star. However, the Saudis have suggested that negotiations could take place now that Ronaldo’s World Cup duties have come to an end.
Ronaldo, 37, departed Manchester United in a hail of acrimony last month, just days after he delivered an explosive interview to UK TV host Piers Morgan in which he castigated the club’s handling by its new head coach, Erik Ten Hag, and its US-based owners the Glazer family.
Since then, all eyes have been on the out-of-contract footballer’s next move – even as a host of Europe’s top clubs distance themselves from making a move for the veteran forward.
One potential destination is Saudi Arabia, where the Gulf state’s seemingly unlimited cash reserves could make Ronaldo by far the best-paid footballer in history.
Al Nassr, who are led by Frenchman Rudi Garcia, are one of the most successful teams in Saudi Premier League history, and had previously been linked to a stunning $244 million contract offer to Ronaldo.
Al Nassr president commenting on Cristiano Ronaldo deal: “Cristiano was busy recently with the World Cup and I didn’t expect him to negotiate with anyone”, told SSC Sports. 🚨🇵🇹🇸🇦 #transfers
“We will not speak about other players, I wish the best to Cristiano with any decision”. pic.twitter.com/goVsHT8S5AADVERTISEMENT
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) December 15, 2022
However, it was thought that Ronaldo’s preference has long been to remain within European football – though recent reports have suggested that his head may have been turned by the sheer financial power of their offer.
But regardless, club president Musalli Al-Muammar is keeping his cards close to his chest about the future of the superstar footballer.
“Who is Ronaldo? I don’t know him,” he joked to reporters when quizzed recently.
“Ronaldo did not negotiate with us because he was busy with the World Cup. As far as I know, not only with us, but with other clubs too. We did not expect him to make a decision in the middle of the tournament,” he added, per SSC Sports.
“I wish Cristiano all the best in whatever choice he makes.”
Team boss Garcia also addressed the speculation earlier this week but said that he didn’t want to add further weight to the rumors amid an ongoing media frenzy.
“I can’t say anything about Cristiano because otherwise it would immediately appear in the headlines: ‘Garcia: about Ronaldo’. What I see is that it has been a soap opera and it has been a very important promotion for Al Nassr,” said Garcia to AS.
“Nothing special, but I have always thought that the great players are the easiest to manage because they are very intelligent, I verified this with Francesco Totti at Roma. At the moment, the goal with Al Nassr is simple: win titles.”
Meanwhile, Ronaldo is said to have been training back at former club Real Madrid as he seeks to maintain fitness ahead of his next move, wherever that may be.
December 16, 2022 at 05:51PM