Major League Soccer (MLS) side Sporting Kansas City were reportedly interested in signing Cristiano Ronaldo before the veteran striker secured a free transfer to Al-Nassr on Friday (December 30).
Ronaldo, 37, sealed a permanent move to the Saudi Pro League outfit after he had his Manchester United contract terminated via a mutual agreement last month. His unceremonious exit from Old Trafford came after his controversial interview with TV presenter Piers Morgan.
However, transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has revealed that Sporting Kansas City were also in pursuit of the Portuguese. He wrote:
"Sporting Kansas City were really trying to sign CR7. SKC held a meeting before Morgan interview then one more with concrete talks about the prospects of CR7 playing in Kansas City commercially. Salary package was huge but he decided for Al Nassr move."
Despite his desire to pursue UEFA Champions League action, the five-time Ballon d'Or award winner has signed a two-and-a-half-year deal at the Mrsool Park. He is expected to join Rudi Garcia's side in early January next year to help them fight for the domestic title.
Upon joining Al-Nassr, the Sporting CP youth product said:
"I'm thrilled for a new experience in a different league and a different country. The vision that Al-Nassr has is very inspiring. I am excited to join my teammates, to help the team to achieve success."
So far, Ronaldo has registered 819 goals and 266 assists in 1145 overall matches for Portugal, Real Madrid, Manchester United, Juventus, and Sporting CP. He has also lifted a staggering 34 trophies.
Manchester United told to focus on apt recruitment after Cristiano Ronaldo's exit
Former Liverpool striker Stan Collymore has claimed that Manchester United can shape their first team with a proper transfer strategy following Cristiano Ronaldo's toxic exit. Speaking to Mirror, he said:
"His departure means United can finally have closure on what has been a tumultuous few months. Erik ten Hag isn't going to be asked questions about him week in, week out and we're not going to be having television cameras panning to Ronaldo on the bench."
Sharing his thoughts on the club's recruitment plans, he said:
"It's now really vital that if they are going to do any business, it seems to make sense among the United supporter base and they say, 'Yes, we understand why we are getting that player or selling that one', or 'We understand why we are heavily linked with him'."
Predicting a fresh start for the Red Devils, Collymore added:
"Being able to do that is so important and it hasn't been the case with United for a while. Now, there's an opportunity for them to start doing again what they have done for decades – win more than they lose, play with a swagger and be in the title conversation at the end."
Prior to his exit, Ronaldo scored three goals and laid out two assists in 16 overall appearances for the Premier League side this season.
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