Cristiano Ronaldo: Saudi club confirm summer talks with Manchester United star

Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United
(Image credit: David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)

Saudi champions Al-Hilal have confirmed they "negotiated with" Cristiano Ronaldo about a potential move from Manchester United (opens in new tab) this summer.

Doubt was cast over Ronaldo's Old Trafford future after he told United in July that he wanted to leave in search of Champions League football (opens in new tab).

But MailOnline (opens in new tab) reported the day before transfer deadline day that Al-Hilal weere the only club to make a concrete offer for the Portugal (opens in new tab) captain – who returned to United in August last year. In an interview with the Thamanya YouTube channel (via Goal) (opens in new tab), club president Fahad ben Nafel said:

"Yes, we negotiated with Ronaldo. The problem was not in the money or the principle."

Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United

Thirsty for action: Ronaldo has largely had to make do with a spot on the United bench this season (Image credit: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

The issue, it seems, was a transfer ban imposed on Al-Hilal in May. Ben Nafel continued:

"Al-Hilal is able to bring in the stars of the world, but it was the decision of the [Saudi] Sports Arbitration Center that prevented us from registering the players. We did not stop negotiating with the players despite the decision to ban, but we were delaying entering the final stage of the negotiations until the ban was lifted."

However, it appears Ronaldo may not have wanted to join Al-Hilal regardless. According to MARCA (via the Mirror) (opens in new tab), the 37-year-old turned down a two-year contract worth almost £210m – which would have made him the highest-paid player in the world.

As we know, the five-time Ballon d'Or winner ultimately stayed at United. He's fallen out of favour under Erik ten Hag, though, making only three starts in all competitions and scoring just one goal (a penalty in this month's 2-0 Europa League win away to FC Sheriff).

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