Al-Nassr dealt transfer blow as 2022 FIFA World Cup winner unlikely to join despite Cristiano Ronaldo's request

Al-Nassr superstar Cristiano Ronaldo
Al-Nassr superstar Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo's Al-Nassr have been dealt a massive blow in the transfer market after Roma star Paulo Dybala recently admitted he is unlikely to play outside of Serie A. The Argentine was one of the recommended players to the club by Ronaldo for a potential summer arrival.

The Knights of Najd have endured a disappointing campaign, finishing second to rivals Al-Hilal in the Saudi Pro League. They also failed to capture the AFC Champions League and Saudi Super Cup, exiting in the quarter-finals and semi-finals respectively.

According to Argentine journalist Lucas Gatti (via @ByanNassr), Cristiano Ronaldo requested the signing of former teammate Paulo Dybala this summer to bolster Al-Nassr's squad. Dybala helped Lionel Messi's Argentina win the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. He has been in fine form this season for Roma, garnering 16 goals and 10 assists in 39 appearances across all competitions.

Ronaldo reportedly wanted Dybala to join the Knights of Najd ahead of Real Madrid icons Casemiro and Sergio Ramos. Unfortunately for the Al-Awwal Stadium faithful, this reunion has hit a hurdle as Dybala recently said (via Saudi News Outlet @X99i3 on X):

“It is difficult to see myself outside Italy.”

While Dybala's contract with Roma expires in the summer of 2025, Cristiano Ronaldo and Co. will need to look elsewhere for a top forward in Europe. Their situation could prove to be more dire after it was reported that La Liga side Girona are keen on signing Al-Nassr's Sadio Mane this summer.

"The Arab championship is certainly one of the most important" - When Cristiano Ronaldo's Al-Nassr transfer target Paulo Dybala provided a glowing review on the Saudi Pro League

Roma forward Paulo Dybala looks unlikely to reunite with Cristiano Ronaldo at Al-Nassr this summer. However, this didn't stop the 2022 FIFA World Cup winner from being impressed by the Saudi Pro League earlier this season.

Dybala told Al Arabi Al Jadeed (via Tribal Football):

"The growth of the Arab League in the last two years has been incredible, both in terms of players and clubs, but also in terms of the quality of the game. I watched several matches on TV and I was impressed both from the level of play and the passion of the fans, with the stadiums always full. Football is truly loved by the younger generations."

He also insinuated he would be staying loyal to Roma, adding:

"I was already struck by the fans' passion for football and their dedication to the sport. But at the moment I play for Roma and I imagine myself with Roma. The Arab championship is certainly one of the most important, together with MLS and European championships."

Dybala played alongside Cristiano Ronaldo at Juventus between 2018 and 2021 where they formed a formidable partnership, playing 93 games together. The duo guided the Old Lady to four trophies together, including two Serie A titles (2018-19, 2019-20), the Coppa Italia (2020-21), and, Supercoppa Italiana (2018).

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