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Cristiano Ronaldo ‘torn between Newcastle United, Al-Nassr move’

Cristiano Ronaldo ‘torn between Newcastle United, Al-Nassr move’

Cristiano Ronaldo is reportedly ‘torn between’ Newcastle United and Al-Nassr, with the Portugal international now available on a free transfer.

On Tuesday, it was confirmed that the 37-year-old had been released by Manchester United, with the club taking action following his shock interview with Piers Morgan on TalkTV.

Ronaldo is currently with Portugal at the 2022 World Cup, but he will be seeking a new club at the end of the competition, with Sporting Lisbon said to be interested in re-signing their former youngster.

However, according to Marca, the strongest interest is arriving from Newcastle and Al-Nassr, with both clubs determined to sign him on a free transfer at the start of January.

Ronaldo had thought to be determined to remain in European football, but the report claims that that he is now ‘considering very seriously’ making the move to Saudi Arabia.

Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo in action against Aston Villa on November 3, 2022© Reuters

Newcastle, meanwhile, now have the finances to compete with the biggest players in world football following their recent takeover.

Eddie Howe‘s side are currently third in the Premier League table, two points behind second-placed Manchester City, with the Magpies in the battle for a top-four spot at this stage of the campaign.

Newcastle are well-stocked in the final third of the field, though, with Chris Wood currently providing back-up to Callum Wilson, who has scored six Premier League goals this season.

The Magpies also signed Alexander Isak in a big-money deal over the summer, although the Sweden international has only played three times in the Premier League this season due to injury.

Ronaldo is likely to want assurances over playing time at his next club, having struggled for regular starts at Man United in the opening months of the 2022-23 campaign.

Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo pictured during training on October 26, 2022© Reuters

The Portuguese has only scored three goals for Man United this season, with just one of those coming in the Premier League.

During an extraordinary interview with Morgan, Ronaldo was heavily critical of the 20-time English champions, including their owners, and current head coach Erik ten Hag.

The experienced forward had a contract at Old Trafford until the end of June, so he has allegedly given up around £16m in wages to end his deal at this stage of the campaign.

Ronaldo has scored 117 goals in 191 caps for Portugal, and the striker is expected to be in the starting XI for the country’s opening World Cup fixture against Ghana on Thursday afternoon.

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