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Two Saudi Arabian clubs battling for Cristiano Ronaldo?

Two Saudi Arabian clubs battling for Cristiano Ronaldo?

Saudi Arabian clubs Al-Hilal and Al-Nassr are reportedly set to battle for the signature of free agent Cristiano Ronaldo.

The 37-year-old is currently without a club after Manchester United mutually agreed to terminate his contract earlier this month following his explosive interview with Piers Morgan on TalkTV.

Ronaldo, who initially asked to leave the Red Devils last summer in search of Champions League football, has heavily criticised the club, manager Erik ten Hag, the Glazer family, several board members and former players.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner is now on the hunt for a fresh challenge at a new club, and speculation has been rife regarding his next destination.

European giants Bayern Munich have confirmed they are no longer in the race for Ronaldo’s signature, while Chelsea are also understood to have ended their interest in the forward.

Cristiano Ronaldo pictured during Portugal training on November 19, 2022© Reuters

Paris Saint-Germain, who already boast Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe among their ranks, have also distanced themselves from a potential move, as have Ronaldo’s former clubs Real Madrid and Sporting Lisbon.

However, Ronaldo has been strongly linked with a possible big-money switch to Saudi Arabia, and the Daily Mirror reports that Al-Nassr face stern competition from domestic rivals Al-Hilal for his signature.

Al-Nassr are understood to have tabled a lucrative two-year contract offer to Ronaldo worth £173m per year, and a recent report claims that the Portugal international is ‘on the verge’ of reaching an agreement.

However, Piers Morgan recently took to social media to state that Ronaldo has not yet agreed to join any club.

Managed by former Portugal Under-21 international Pedro Emanuel, Al-Nassr have won nine Saudi Professional League titles and are represented by the likes of David Ospina, Luiz Gustavo, Talisca and Vincent Aboubakar.

Cristiano Ronaldo in action for Portugal on September 27, 2022© Reuters

Meanwhile, 18-time top-flight champions Al-Hilal have held an interest in Ronaldo since the summer and they are allegedly willing to make him the highest-paid footballer in the world.

Saudi Arabian sports minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Faisal recently expressed his desire for Ronaldo to move to the Middle East, telling BBC Sport: “Anything is possible, I would love to see Ronaldo play in the Saudi league.

“It would benefit the league, the sports eco-system in Saudi and it will inspire the youth for the future. He’s a role model to a lot of kids and has a big fanbase in Saudi.”

Ronaldo is currently away on international duty with Portugal at the 2022 World Cup and he is set to decide his club future as soon as their campaign in Qatar comes to a close.

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