Cristiano Ronaldo’s second spell at Manchester United has come to an end, in the most abrupt manner. There was no going back for the 37-year-old forward who is currently on international duty with Portugal at the 2022 FIFA World Cup after his tirade against the Red Devils in the Piers Morgan interview.
Ronaldo bashed the club from every direction, as he also had a go at the manager Erik ten Hag, owners of the Glazers family, and even some former players and interim manager Ralf Rangnick.
As a result, even before he kicked a ball at the FIFA World Cup Portugal, Cristiano Ronaldo and Manchester United parted ways after a contract termination was agreed upon. The Portuguese captain led his country out of the tunnel in their opening against Ghana as a free agent for the first time in his career.
With a heap of questions piling up on his future, Ronaldo soo could be the subject of another lucrative offer from the Saudis, who are ready to do everything in order to bring the global star to the middle-east.
Saudis ready to double their previous offer for Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo already had attempted to leave United in the summer market but was unable to do so. Many of the clubs from around the world had lined up at his doorsteps, but couldn’t take the forward out of Old Trafford.
Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Sporting Cp, Atletico Madrid, and Napoli were all said to be heavily interested in Ronaldo, but the ones who tabled a mammoth offer were the Saudis. Riyadh-based Al Hilal came calling with a ridiculous bid which was also confirmed by the player himself in the Piers Morgan interview.
According to multiple reports, the Saudi club offered Ronaldo around £300 million with a contract of two years. That said, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner would have easily pocketed £150 million per year, and could have retired at the end of his contract with an extra £300 million in his already bulging bank account. However, as expected, Ronaldo refused the offer as he still wants to remain in Europe for at least three more years as he revealed in the interview.
But the Saudis are not going to back down so easily, as they are ready to attempt and lure the now free agent after he wraps up the World Cup campaign with Portugal.
As per Daily Mirror, Al Hilal is now planning to put a blank cheque in front of Ronaldo and ask him to fill it with the figures which would please him. That’s an audacious offer given they were already ready to pay him £150 million-per-year in the summer.
The Saudis’ desperate moves to entice Cristiano Ronaldo to the middle-east are said to have some underlying reasons. The Gulf nation is bidding to host the 2030 FIFA World Cup, and wants to use Ronaldo, who recently became the first ever person to gather 500 million Instagram followers, as the face of their bid. The former Real Madrid superstar kicking a ball around in Saudi Arabia itself would be their biggest show of power, after their recent win over Argentina at the 2022 World Cup, and the takeover of Newcastle United which they accomplished last year.
Even the Saudi Sports Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal has endorsed the idea of Ronaldo gracing the country’s football league. On being asked whether he knows in detail Al Hilal’s plans of trying their luck to land the five-time Champions League winner, he told CNN in an interview:
“I don’t know, that’s a straight answer. I read the same thing as you read in the news. I don’t know what his future plans are. Why not? We have a strong league. In each team, we have seven foreign players playing and we are looking to increase that. Our teams play at the top level in Asia. Football is strong in Saudi. So why not?”
However, it is expected that Ronaldo is set to reject the gigantic offer once again, as he searches for a Champions League club. The all-time top scorer of the competition can still grace it as the teams qualified for the Round of 16 need to submit a fresh list of players for the knockouts after the January transfer market.
Ronaldo is certainly eyeing the same for now, he strongly stated that he is committed to the Portuguese national team to take as far as he can at the World Cup.