Cristiano Ronaldo to LEAVE Al-Nassr for sensational Real Madrid return – though a move to Manchester United's rivals is still on the cards: report

Cristiano Ronaldo, formerly of Real Madrid, in action for Al-Nassr on his debut in the Saudi Pro league.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Cristiano Ronaldo is ready to return for a Real Madrid role, just months after joining Al-Nassr in Saudi Arabia.

That's according to a report from El Nacional in Spain, suggesting that the legendary Portuguese goalscorer is angling for his big return to Europe already. In November, CR7 had his Manchester United contract ripped up after an interview with Piers Morgan – in which he claimed he'd turned down a huge offer from Saudi Arabia.

According to Saudi state media reports, via the Athletic, Ronaldo earns £173m ($210m) a year at Al-Nassr, with £62m ($75.3m) coming purely from playing commitments and the rest spread across image rights and commercial or ambassadorial deals. Perhaps Ronaldo should get used to that ambassadorial money…

Cristiano Ronaldo has been offered a return from Al-Nassr as a Real Madrid ambassador – not a player

Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid CF celebrates as he scores their second goal during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second leg match between Real Madrid CF and FC Schalke 04 at Estadio Bernabeu on March 10, 2015 in Madrid, Spain.

Ronaldo is Real Madrid's all-time scorer  (Image credit: Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images)

According to El Nacional, it's not a playing deal that Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has offered.  

"Florentino Perez has guaranteed that [Ronaldo] will not lack work at the Santiago Bernabeu," the report claims, "But, obviously, he wouldn't do it to be a player, because he considers that it is a cycle that should be considered closed."

The source also mentions how Ronaldo touted his services to Los Blancos – and their rivals, Atletico Madrid, when trying to leave Manchester United. Incredibly though, he might end up at United's rivals, instead.

Newcastle United could yet be a destination for Ronaldo

Eddie Howe

Could Eddie Howe manage Cristiano Ronaldo? (Image credit: PA)

Earlier this year, MARCA reported on a clause that Ronaldo has in his deal to move to Newcastle United, should they qualify for the Champions League. With the Saudi-owned Magpies looking all but confirmed in the top four of the Premier League this season, that's looking a little more realistic.

Ronaldo is the all-time top scorer in the competition and rumoured to be desperate to protect that record at all costs. The 38-year-old's move to Manchester United was said to be driven, in part at least, by their participation in the competition – and his exit, likewise, motivated by their lack of Champions League football. 

While it seems unlikely that Newcastle would actually want Ronaldo, it can't be ruled out altogether. Strange things happen in football and with the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia committed to bidding for the 2030 World Cup, they may want to move heaven and Earth to get one of their biggest ambassadors to their most exciting project in European football…

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Mark White
Staff Writer

Mark White has been a staff writer on FourFourTwo since joining in January 2020, writing pieces for both online and the magazine. An encyclopedia of football shirts and boots knowledge – both past and present – Mark has also been to the FA Cup and League Cup finals for FFT and has written pieces for the mag ranging on subjects from Bobby Robson's season at Barcelona to Robinho's career. He once saw Tyrone Mings at a petrol station in Bournemouth but felt far too short to ask for a photo.