Former Manchester United attacker Cristiano Ronaldo reportedly hoped to return to Real Madrid before he sealed his switch to Al-Nassr.
Ronaldo exited Man Utd at the end of November after his controversial interview with Piers Morgan aired.
After he refused to come on as a substitute on a couple of occasions, this was the final straw as he hit out at Erik ten Hag and the Glazer family.
Back in the summer, it was reported that Ronaldo wanted to leave Man Utd so he could join a club competing in the Champions League.
This offer did not come as Chelsea, Napoli and Bayern Munich were reportedly among the clubs who passed up on the opportunity to recruit him.
With Ronaldo short on options, Saudi Arabian side Al-Nassr emerged as the clear favourites to sign him.
He officially joined them earlier this week and it is understood that with ‘commercial’ bonuses, he will earn €200m (£173m) a year. His contract at Al-Nassr runs until 2025.
Spanish outlet Marca are reporting that Ronaldo knew during the World Cup ‘that his future passed through Saudi Arabia’.
It is said that Ronaldo did not want any ‘distractions’ but he ‘was aware of everything’ that was going on in the background.
It’s added that ‘negotiations were carried out by Ricardo Regufe’, a person ‘very close’ to Ronaldo. Jorge Mendes ‘was not involved’, though.
Ronaldo spent a few days at Real Madrid after Portugal exited the World Cup. He used their facilities to train before he joined a new club.
The report notes that while he was there, he was ‘waiting for a call’ to re-sign for them but ‘it did not come’.
Ronaldo has not seen eye-to-eye with Gary Neville in recent months but the pundit is “sad” that the 37-year-old will no longer be “playing at the top level”.
“I felt as though he would want to stay, for the rest of this season at least, in one of the big leagues in Europe, and go and score more goals, and potentially try and find a Champions League club,” Neville told Sky Sports.
“So it tells me that the offer was absolutely staggering and maybe the club just didn’t come in for him that he wanted in Europe and he felt as though that was his option to go for now.
“Look, I think [there is] an element of sadness for me that we are probably seeing the last of Cristiano Ronaldo playing at the top level, which is something that I think we could have continued to see at Old Trafford had it all been handled differently, by both parties throughout the season.
“But that had to come to an end, that had to close before the World Cup.”
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The article Ex-Man Utd star Cristiano Ronaldo ‘waited for call’ to return to ex-club before sealing £173m transfer appeared first on Football365.com.