Cristiano Ronaldo ‘to sign imminently’ with Al-Nassr and Saudi Arabia

Saudi fans react to Cristiano Ronaldo news

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Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to put pen to paper on a lucrative seven-year deal with Saudi Arabian outfit Al-Nassr at some point in the next few hours, according to reports. The Portuguese forward is currently without a club after leaving Manchester United by mutual consent last month and has been heavily linked with a money-spinning move to the Middle East since last summer.

Al-Nassr are thought to have submitted the only contract offer that Ronaldo has received over the last few weeks, with an annual salary of around £175million believed to be on the table. Ronaldo has reportedly been delaying his decision in order to see if any European clubs would be keen on snapping him up, but it seems as though he has finally chosen to join Al-Nassr ahead of the new year.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has decided to head to Riyadh in order to thrash out the finer details of the move and sign his new contract, with Marca claiming that proceedings could be wrapped up in a matter of hours. The deal is expected to tie Ronaldo to Al-Nassr for a period of seven years, although he is only expected to play for the club until the summer of 2025.

It is said that Ronaldo will then move into an ambassadorial role, which will see him aid Saudi Arabia, together with Egypt and Greece, in their bid to host the World Cup in 2030. Al-Nassr, meanwhile, are preparing to cut three players from their squad in order to free up enough room financially to sign the veteran forward and pay his eye-watering salary.

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The Saudi club have already taken the extra step of freeing up the No 7 shirt in anticipation of Ronaldo’s arrival, with Jaloliddin Masharipov having switched to No 77 in a clear indication that the former United striker could soon be on his way. Al-Nassr boss Rudi Garcia has also insisted that he would be honoured to coach Ronaldo if he ends up taking the Portugal ace under his wing in the not-too-distant future, with the proposed move now seemingly just a matter of time.

“I think that any coach would be delighted to train a great star like Cristiano,” Garcia told reporters earlier this month. “The last images are Cristiano’s tears going to the dressing room [after Portugal’s defeat to Morocco at the World Cup].

“It was an exciting moment, very strong, perhaps it was his last game in a World Cup, and on the other hand there was the emotion of the Moroccans. I commented on the match for TF1. On December 18, in the final, I will remember these quarter-finals because of the emotions experienced, those of Morocco and those of Cristiano.

“I can’t say anything about Cristiano because otherwise it would immediately appear in the headlines: ‘Garcia: about Ronaldo’. What I see is that it has been a soap opera and it has been a very important promotion for Al-Nassr.”

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