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Report: Cristiano Ronaldo's Al-Nassr Contract Doesn't Have Newcastle Transfer Clause

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 3, 2023

RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA - DECEMBER 30: (----EDITORIAL USE ONLY â MANDATORY CREDIT - "ALL NASSR FOOTBALL CLUB / HANDOUT" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS----) Portuguese football star Cristiano Ronaldo poses for a photo with the jersey after signing with Saudi Arabia's Al-Nassr Football Club in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on December 30, 2022. (Photo by Al Nassr Football Club / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Al Nassr Football Club / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Cristiano Ronaldo does not have a clause in his contract allowing him to leave Al-Nassr for Newcastle United next season, according to Mark Ogden of ESPN.

After the Saudi Arabian club announced the superstar's signing last week, Marca reported Ronaldo can go on loan at Newcastle United in 2023-24 if the club qualifies for Champions League. The Magpies, which are owned by the Saudi Public Investment Fund, currently sit in third place in the Premier League, with the top four clubs in the table at the end of the season granted a place in Europe's top club competition.

Sources at the club said this report is "fake," per Ogden.

Ronaldo signed a two-and-half-year deal with Al-Nassr that will pay him $75 million annually. According to Fabrizio Romano, he could make €200 million per year when adding commercial deals.

The 37-year-old had been seeking a move to a Champions League club since the summer transfer window, per ESPN's Rob Dawson. The five-time Ballon d'Or winner competed in the UCL in 19 straight seasons with Manchester United, Real Madrid and Juventus, winning the competition five times.

After a move to Manchester United in 2021-22, the club finished sixth in the Premier League and failed to qualify for this year's Champions League.

Ronaldo was unable to find a new home over the summer, leading to a contentious start of the season with Manchester United before the two sides mutually parted ways in November. After scoring 18 Premier League goals last year, the veteran had just one goal in 10 appearances (four starts) in 2022-23.

The move to Al-Nassr offers a fresh start in a new location, although the Newcastle link would make sense. If the club finishes in the top four of the EPL, it will qualify for Champions League for the first time since 2002-03 and could use an experienced goal scorer like Ronaldo. The forward would also likely enjoy a return to England and the opportunity for UCL action.

However, the reports are seemingly untrue, and Ronaldo will be committed to Al-Nassr for the forseeable future.