l could derail Cristiano Ronaldo‘s mega-money move to Al-Nassr because the Saudi Arabian club is reportedly interested in signing Roberto Firmino instead. Ronaldo is one of the best players in football history, but he is currently without a team after his contract with Manchester United was canceled.
Ronaldo had a turbulent 18-month career at Manchester United after signing for the club for the second time last summer. Despite scoring 24 goals in all competitions in his first season back in England, he fell out of favor with new Red Devils manager Erik ten Hag.
Ronaldo started just four of United’s first 14 Premier League games this campaign. And after telling Piers Morgan that he “felt betrayed” by United and that he had “no respect” for Ten Hag, he departed Old Trafford during the World Cup in Qatar.
The 37-year-old has been tipped to move to Al-Nassr in a deal reported to be worth a staggering £173million a season. But according to The Mirror, the Saudi Pro League team would prefer to get their hands on Firmino, who joined Liverpool from Hoffenheim in 2015.
Firmino was once one of the biggest stars at Anfield and has bagged 107 goals and 78 assists during 348 matches for the Reds. But he can no longer command a regular starting place in Jurgen Klopp’s team, with the likes of Diogo Jota and Darwin Nunez moving ahead of the 31-year-old in the attacking pecking order.
Firmino, who failed to make it into Brazil’s World Cup squad, is out of contract next summer. And although Klopp is keen to keep the ace, Al-Nassr hopes a lucrative offer combined with the fact he is struggling for starts at Anfield, will be enough to tempt him to the Middle East.
Klopp addressed the player’s future last month, saying, “Normal conversations [are] ongoing.” So we’ll have to wait and see what happens there.” However, the German may now find it difficult to bind the striker to a new contract.
Ronaldo is yet to sign a new contract with a new club and may struggle to find admirers in Europe since clubs are unlikely to be prepared to pay a large wage to a lesser version of the Ronaldo they saw during his initial time with Manchester United and his subsequent stint with Real Madrid. When queried about his links with Al-Nassr at the World Cup, the veteran responded, “No, that’s not true.” That is not correct.”