A-League boss claims Cristiano Ronaldo had 'genuine interest' in move to Australia
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Cristiano Ronaldo seriously considered a move Down Under.
That is according to A-League chief executive Danny Townsend who put in an offer for the Portuguese footballer last month.
The A-League sent out their feelers for the superstar following Ronaldo’s sacking from Manchester United.
The 37-year-old had his contract terminated with the English club after appearing in an explosive interview with Piers Morgan in which he slammed the club and coach Erik ten Hag.
And while Australian football fans would welcome him with open arms, he looks set for a move to Saudi Arabia’s Al-Nassr after a reported deal with A$308 million-a-year was proposed.
I mean, I don’t think the A-League could’ve possibly offered anywhere near that figure.
However, that didn’t stop them from trying.
Townsend told the Sydney Morning Herald: “We had interesting discussions, and there was genuine interest, but it’s clear he has other priorities at this stage.”
Ronaldo has thus far denied that a deal with Al-Nassr is done, with the Herald reporting that the former Real Madrid man will wait until after the World Cup to choose his next club.
However, for all intents and purposes, any possible deal to head to Australia is certainly off.
But that doesn’t mean the A-League still won’t be looking out for a superstar marquee signing to capitalise on the growing interest in the sport following the Socceroos’ World Cup campaign.
With player’s campaigns in Qatar coming to an end, some will certainly be considering their next career move.
Townsend said: “The feelers are certainly out.
“As countries get knocked out and players in their last World Cup probably think about their future, they start to be far more willing to have conversations.
“Coming to Australia is a big call, and that was actually one of the difficulties in engaging marquees in the previous off-season, particularly ones that were still active in the national teams. They said, ‘I don’t want to make a big move to Australia in a World Cup season.’
“That was a barrier.”
Ronaldo has suffered a difficult World Cup campaign despite Portugal making it to the quarter-finals.
The 21-year-old Goncalo Ramos was preferred to him in the starting eleven for the round of 16 clash against Switzerland.
Ramos went on to score a hat-trick for his nation, three more goals than Ronaldo has in the knockout stage of the World Cup.