Cristiano Ronaldo’s lucrative contract with Saudi Arabia’s Al-Nassr has a loophole if Newcastle United make the Premier League top four, according to reports.
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During the speculation over Ronaldo’s future while he was at Manchester United, and when he became a free agent, there was belief he was searching for Champions League football.
And while he has chosen to go to Saudi Arabia, away from Europe’s top club competition, he could be back sooner, if a report from Marca is right.
A clause in Ronaldo’s new contract is reported to claim he will be allowed to join Newcastle on loan if they finish in the top four, and qualify for the Champions League in 2023-24.
A takeover of the Tyneside side by the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund was completed in October 2021.
Over the past 15 months, they have invested in players, and turned around the club’s fortunes from the relegation to being in the right place for Europe’s premier club competition.
The Magpies sit in third place in the Premier League, behind reigning champions Manchester City, and Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal.
Ronaldo could make his debut for Al-Nassr against Al Ta’ee on Thursday, as reported by Sportmail after he flew to the country for a medical.
His arrival could coincide with another clash with management though, as Al-Nassr boss Rudi Garcia claimed that he ‘tried to sign’ Ronaldo’s arch-nemesis Lionel Messi before signing the Portuguese forward.
Excited Saudi supporters chanted his name and queued to buy No 7 replica shirts from the club shop ahead of his highly anticipated arrival into Saudi Arabian football.