Ronaldo has had a difficult few months after being dropped from Manchester United.
Football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to announce a transfer to Saudi club Al Nassr, according to Spanish and Saudi media reports.
Ronaldo is set to sign a £172 million contract that will see him represent the club for two-and-a-half years following a messy end to his time at Manchester United, Spanish sport daily newspaper MARCA reported.
According to the Saudi Gazette, the Portuguese football icon could appear on Saudi pitches as early as January 1.
“Ronaldo had been hoping to stay in Europe’s elite club competition contract, in addition to the hefty signing-on fee (just under 100 million Euros) is accompanied by financial incentives via advertising, which will make the Portuguese the highest-paid sportsman in the world,” Saudi Gazette said.
The move would mark the first time Ronaldo plays for a club outside of Europe, where he has gathered several titles, including five Champions League wins; three in the Premier League twice in La Liga and twice in Serie A.
Ronaldo has not specifically commented on his future, but the 37-year-old has been widely expected to retire from international level football after Qatar 2022, the fifth World Cup for the superstar player.
Portugal bowed out after a loss to Morocco, and Ronaldo admitted that his 19-year quest for a World Cup title was “beautiful as long as it lasted”.
Ronaldo’s World Cup exit caps a turbulent few weeks that began with an explosive interview with Piers Morgan and ended with the termination of his contract at Manchester United, as well as rumours of the move to Al Nassr.
Speaking to Piers Morgan, Ronaldo hit out at Manchester United Coach Erik ten Hag.
“I don’t have respect for him because he doesn’t show respect for me,” Ronaldo told controversial Piers Morgan about ten Hag.
“If you don’t have respect for me, I’m never gonna have respect for you,” the football legend added.
When asked if Ronaldo felt pushed out of the club, the footballer claimed that several individuals had pressured him.
“Yes, not only the coach but the other two or three guys – they’re around the club.” When pressed further, Ronaldo said: “Yes, I feel betrayed. And I felt that some people, they don’t want me here. Not only this year, but last year too,” Ronaldo revealed.
The football icon was also rumoured to be in talks with a Qatari club, though no such move has been announced so far.