There had been rumours that Ronaldo, who handed in a transfer request early in the window, had been tabled proposals exceeding 200m from Saudi outfits over the summer. Ultimately, an exit never materialised for the 37-year-old, who has started just twice all season.
He saw potential exit routes to Real Madrid, Chelsea and Bayern Munich – among others – closed off, and recently Napoli said their late links with the attacker were less than substantial.
The Portugal captain will now stay at United until at least January, after the conclusion of this winters World Cup. The transfer market reopens in the new year when speculation about Ronaldos future will undoubtedly be rife once again.
Saudi FA chief Yasser Al-Misehal says he expects interest from his league to continue, although the expense of his arrival could be a hurdle. Asked whether a concrete offer could arrive, he told The Athletic: 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. However, he envisages that one day, it a Saudi transfer could be a possibility.
Al-Misehal added: We would love to see a player like Cristiano Ronaldo playing in the Saudi League. I think, '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.
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