Cristiano Ronaldo Reportedly Hasn't Made a Decision on $500M Al-Nassr Contract

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVDecember 6, 2022

Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo leaves the pitch after being substituted during the World Cup group H soccer match between South Korea and Portugal, at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan , Qatar, Friday, Dec. 2, 2022. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
AP Photo/Francisco Seco

Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo hasn't yet agreed to a deal with Saudi club Al-Nassr, according to ESPN's Adriana Garcia.

Spanish newspaper Marca reported Monday that Ronaldo would join Al-Nassr on Jan. 1 after he struck a bargain on a two-and-a-half-year contract worth around $500 million.

However, Garcia reported the five-time Ballon d'Or winner "has not signed anything with any club," though Al-Nassr is the only team to make a formal offer to this point.

Ronaldo is a free agent after he and Manchester United agreed to terminate his contract with immediate effect in November. It brought an end to a turbulent second spell at Old Trafford.

The fact United preferred to simply release him altogether rather than wait until the January transfer window and his subsequent inability to land with another European club illustrate how far the 37-year-old's stock has fallen.

Ronaldo might be hoping a strong World Cup will entice a Champions League side or one that at least has ambitions of reaching Europe in 2023-24.

If that's the case, then his plan isn't working out.

Portugal advanced to the round of 16, where it faces Switzerland on Tuesday, but its captain hasn't been integral to those efforts. His only goal of the tournament so far came from the penalty spot, and he was notably subbed off in the 64th minute of a 2-1 loss to South Korea in the group stage.

Coach Fernando Santos subsequently criticized how Ronaldo reacted to being removed from the match. Perhaps tellingly, Santos didn't confirm whether he'll start the veteran forward against the Swiss.

It's tough to see a return to high-level European soccer for Ronaldo at this point, so he might have little choice but to accept the Al-Nassr offer if he wants to continue playing competitively.