Saudi Arabian Sports Minister welcomes a move for free agent Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United-Premier League-19-03-2007
Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United-Premier League-19-03-2007 - IMAGO / PA Images

Saudi Arabia’s Minister for Sports has claimed he would ‘love’ to see Portugal international Cristiano Ronaldo play in the Saudi Pro League.

The 37-year-old became a free agent earlier this week after mutually agreeing to terminate his contract at Old Trafford. So he has become available and is already attracting interest from clubs in the Middle East.

Last week, Ronaldo revealed that he had been offered a two-year contract worth an astonishing €350million (£305m) from an unnamed Saudi club – which he rejected.

The matter of singing Ronaldo was brought up again recently to a Saudi prince, Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, who claimed that ‘Anything is possible.

Speaking to BBC Sport, Prince Abdulaziz said: “Anything is possible. I would love to see Ronaldo play in the Saudi league.

“It would benefit the league, the sports eco-system in Saudi, and it will inspire the youth for the future. He’s a role model to a lot of kids and has a big fan base.”

Aside from Ronaldo, the Saudi prince also spoke on the prospects of a financial take-over at either Manchester United or Liverpool.

Both Premier League clubs have been exploring potential sales options over the past month, and Prince Abdulaziz claimed his side could be open to supporting any Saudi-related move to buy the clubs.

“It’s the most-watched league in Saudi and the region, and you have a lot of fans of the Premier League,” Prince Abdulaziz said.

“From the private sector, I can’t speak on their behalf, but there is a lot of interest and appetite, and there’s a lot of passion about football.

“We will definitely support it if any [Saudi] private sector comes in because we know that’s going to reflect positively on sports within the kingdom.”

The kingdom’s state-backed Public Investment Fund (PIF) has already made one investment; Newcastle United.