Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo had towards the commencement of the last summer transfer window informed the Old Trafford’s hierarchy of his desire to leave the club in search of the Champions League game after the Red Devils have only managed to qualify for the Europa League, but it was eventually reported that the Portuguese had received no offers from a Champions League side.
It was believed that the only official bid that came in for the 37-year-old was from an unnamed Saudi team who were reported to be prepared to make the five-time Ballon d’Or winner the highest-paid footballer in the world.
And in addition to offering Ronaldo a two-year contract worth £210million – or around £2m per week, it was claimed that the unnamed Saudi side were also willing to pay a transfer fee of £25m, which is more than United paid Juventus just over a year ago.
However, the deal never transpired and it was initially suggested that Ronaldo snubbed the move as he still wants to continue competing at the highest level in European football.
But now National Daily can confirm that Al-Hilal president Fahad ben Nafel has revealed that talks between the Saudi club and the Portuguese superstar had progressed well, but they were prevented from completing the deal due to a transfer ban.
Speaking on the Thamanya YouTube channel, he said: ‘Yes, we negotiated with Ronaldo. The problem was not in the money or the principle.
‘Al-Hilal is able to bring in the stars of the world, but it was in the decision of the Sports Arbitration Center that prevented us from registering the players.
‘We did not stop negotiating with the players despite the decision to ban, but we were delaying entering the final stage of the negotiations until the ban was lifted.’
A transfer ban was imposed on Al-Hilal in May after Mohamed Kanno backtracked on a move to Al-Nassr at the last minute, which meant he had signed contracts with two different clubs.
Al-Hilal had tried to overturn the ban but did not manage to do so, with their move for Ronaldo ultimately ending in disappointment.
The veteran forward has endured a difficult start to the new season and has only started once in the Premier League under new boss Erik ten Hag, with his only goal so far coming in the Europa League against FC Sheriff.