done deal? | 

Chelsea make their position clear as Cristiano Ronaldo’s future is set to be finalised

Blues offered chance to sign Ronaldo, but look set to turn down the chance again.

Where will Ronaldo move to? (Photo: Adam Davy/PA Wire)© PA

Kevin PalmerSunday World

Cristiano Ronaldo’s future is close to being resolved after several potential suitors were approached about a loan deal until the end of the season.

Ronaldo is currently a free agent after his Manchester United contract was terminated following his explosive interview with Piers Morgan, as he slammed the club’s owners, manager Erik ten Hag and the attitude club’s young player.

There was an expectation that the 37-year-old would now attempt to seal a move to a Champions League club for the second half of this European season, before taking a huge cash offer that is on the table to move to Saudi Arabia.

Chelsea were the bookies favourites to sign Ronaldo on a short-term deal and as reported by earlier this month, the Blues were offered a chance to take on the player who has scored more than 700 career goals.

Yet as was the case last summer, Chelsea have rejected that opportunity and it now appears Ronaldo will complete a deal to move to Saudi Arabia immediately after the World Cup finals.

Saudi Arabian club Al-Hilal are exploring a deal to sign Ronaldo, with a stunning £300million offer on the table for the next two-and-a-half years.

The deal is also believed to include provision for Ronaldo to promote Saudi football and he may play a role in their bid to bring the 2030 World Cup to the kingdom.

If that bid is successful, another winter World Cup will be staged in eight years’ time, with Ronaldo set to sign his deal to move to Saudi Arabia after rejecting a lucrative offer last summer.

"Who wouldn't want him to play in their league?" Saudi Arabia sports minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal told Sky News about bringing Ronaldo to Saudi Arabian football. "He's a role model to a lot of young players - him and Messi."

If Ronaldo moves to Saudi Arabia after the World Cup, his ambitions to have a final crack at winning the Champions League for a sixth time will come to an end.

The move would also suggest he has run out of options at European clubs, despite suggesting in his interview with Piers Morgan that he had lots of offers on the table.

"Let's be honest, who is the most expensive salary player in the Premier League ever in history? It's me, even at 37 years old," he said.

"I didn't have many, many clubs but I have many, many offers of the other clubs last summer. But what the press keep saying, the garbage, is that nobody wants me, which is completely wrong.

"And I was happy here (at Manchester United) to be honest, I was motivated to do a great season, but they continue to repeat that nobody wants Cristiano.

"How do they not want a player who last year scored 32 goals last year?”

Ronaldo’s comments appear to have been undermined after Chelsea were among the clubs rejecting a chance to sign Ronaldo, with a move to Saudi Arabia set to bring down the curtain on one of the great stories of European football this century.

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