Saudi Arabia’s Sports Minister has confirmed that clubs in his country are making plans to bring Cristiano Ronaldo to the nation’s domestic football league.
Last week, Ronaldo said that he had been offered a two-year contract worth an astonishing €350million (£305m) from an unnamed club – which he rejected.
After leaving Manchester United by mutual consent this week, the forward is now a free agent and can now join a new club.
When asked about signing Ronaldo, Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal claimed that ‘anything is possible’. Speaking to BBC Sport, Prince Abdulaziz said:
‘Anything is possible, I would love to see Ronaldo play in the Saudi league. ‘It would benefit the league, the sports eco-system in Saudi and it will inspire the youth for the future.
He’s a role model to a lot of kids and has a big fan base.’ Prince Abdulaziz also spoke on the prospects of a financial take-over at either Manchester United or Liverpool. Both clubs have been exploring potential sales options over the past month.
‘It’s the most-watched league in Saudi and the region and you have a lot of fans of the Premier League,’ Prince Abdulaziz said. ‘From the private sector, I can’t speak on their behalf, but there is a lot of interest and appetite and there’s a lot of passion about football.
‘We will definitely support it if any [Saudi] private sector comes in, because we know that’s going to reflect positively on sports within the kingdom.’ During his interview with Piers Morgan on TalkTV, Ronaldo spoke about a massive offer to play in Saudi Arabia and admitted that he had a €350m offer for two seasons.
On turning down the huge payday, Ronaldo said: ‘It’s hard, it’s hard.
But in the same way, I thought that I was very happy here; that I still capable to score goals. ‘I still believe that I can score many, many goals and help the team because I still believe that I’m still good and capable to help national team – even Manchester United.’