Saudi Arabia football chief targets Cristiano Ronaldo move

·2-min read

Cristiano Ronaldo would be welcomed to the Saudi Pro League with open arms if he were to leave Manchester United, according to the president of the Saudi Arabian Football Federation Yasser Almisehal.

Ronaldo reportedly asked to leave United after they missed out on Champions League qualification last season, but was unable to secure an Old Trafford exit before the transfer window closed.

A host of potential suitors including Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid and Napoli all publicly ruled out signing the five-time Ballon d'Or winner, who has endured a frustrating start to the new campaign.

Since Erik ten Hag took charge at United, Ronaldo has started just one of the Red Devils' six Premier League games, while fellow forwards Marcus Rashford (523), Jadon Sancho (423) and Anthony Elanga (215) have all bettered his 207 minutes of league action.

Amid a lack of takers in Europe, Ronaldo was also linked with Saudi Arabian outfit Al Hilal, and Almisehal hopes a deal to take him to the country can still be struck.

"We would love to see a player like Cristiano Ronaldo playing in the Saudi league," he told The Athletic.

Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo

"It would bring a huge positive feedback and it would be big news for everyone. I'm sure everyone knows the achievements and records of Cristiano Ronaldo, but also as a player who is a great role model.

"Why not? I'm sure it would be a very expensive deal, of course, but we can see our clubs getting higher revenues in the past couple of years.

"We have already seen some big players who used to play in the Premier League come to the Saudi league. I like Cristiano Ronaldo as a player and I would like to see him play in Saudi Arabia."

Asked whether bringing the legendary 37-year-old to Saudi Arabia was a realistic proposition, Almisehal added: "To be honest, I don't have the answer.

"If I was the president of a club, I could give you the answer. But my colleagues at the clubs don't have to share their negotiations with me.

"It wouldn't be an easy transaction for a Saudi club or even for him, but we would love to see him or even some other top players of the same level."