Cristiano Ronaldo has received proposals from Al-Nassr FC to play in Saudi Arabia’s Pro League following his departure from Manchester United during the World Cup, with the Portugal captain standing to make more than £150 million per season to play in the Middle East.
The 37-year-old, arguably the highest-profile free transfer in history, was previously subject to interest from Al-Hilal last summer but their president has spoken about being under a transfer ban, while Ronaldo also wanted to move to a Champions League team.
But interest in Ronaldo from Saudi Arabia has remained, with sources saying Al-Nassr’s determination to sign the Portugal forward is firmly established.
The Saudis are considering an attempt to host the World Cup in 2030 and the five-time Ballon d’Or winner could be used as a face for the bid. They have yet to confirm a bid for four years’ time but have been widely reported to be looking at hosting with Egypt and Greece.
Ronaldo being in their country would have a star role should they look to stage the biggest tournament in the world. They have an agreement with Lionel Messi to promote tourism in the country, and the Al-Hilal bid in the summer showed the country is serious about signing up the biggest stars and hosting high-profile events.
The Group C victory over Argentina at the World Cup has only raised their profile, with Ronaldo arriving as a free agent seen as a huge next step.
As reported by Telegraph Sport, United were determined for Ronaldo’s departure to be on their terms and the club got their way earlier this month when it was announced that it was “mutually agreed” that his contract was terminated.
Ronaldo has been focused on securing a place in the knockout stages with Portugal at the World Cup but that has not stopped discussions at clubs over whether a deal could be struck. European teams are currently assessing their January targets during the mid-season break from club football although Al-Nassr has moved swiftly to attempt to secure him.