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Cristiano Ronaldo has turned down a mega-money offer to play in Saudi Arabia as the world’s highest-paid footballer for the next two years, according to reports. The 37-year-old is believed to be keen on seeking a new challenge away from Manchester United this summer after growing disillusioned with life at Old Trafford over the course of last season.
Ronaldo has been heavily linked with a number of top clubs but was recently offered a yearly wage of £105million to join an unnamed Saudi Arabian club on a lucrative two-year contract. However, it seems as though no amount of money would be enough to tempt Ronaldo to ditch his ambitions of playing in the Champions League, with the Portuguese forward not interested in the idea of moving to the Middle East.
The wildly expensive offer has already been rejected by Ronaldo, who is not willing to snub United for Saudi Arabia in spite of the unprecedented figures on the table, according to Record. The bid also proposed a transfer fee in the region of £30m to be paid to the Red Devils, while a lesser sum of £20m was reportedly set aside for his agent, Jorge Mendes.
A summer move away for Ronaldo still appears to be a strong possibility, though, as the five-time Ballon d’Or winner remains keen on finding a new club over the coming weeks and months. The likes of Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich have recently been credited with a desire to secure his signature but it remains to be seen where he will eventually end up before the start of next season.
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He was granted permission to delay his pre-season return to United due to family reasons and is yet to inform the club as to when he will come back to Manchester in advance of the new campaign. The Red Devils were initially thought to be desperate to keep him on their books, but it is claimed that their stance has changed as a result of his current absence from their squad.
United are said to have ‘relented’ in their efforts to convince Ronaldo to stay, which suggests that he could be on his way out of Old Trafford sooner rather than later. The club have already been warned about losing the off-field benefits of Ronaldo’s presence in the dressing room, though, with former England goalkeeper Paul Robinson insisting that his marketability will be sorely missed if he leaves this summer.
“His commercial value off the field cannot be underestimated, whichever club signs Cristiano Ronaldo immediately sells millions of shirts,” Robinson told Football Insider earlier this month.
“If you buy Ronaldo you are buying one of the world’s best. He scored 18 Premier League goals in a really poor Man United side last year.
“He proved that he can still play at the top level. You are also getting huge commercial value, he is such an asset off of the field.”
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