Cristiano Ronaldo's 'Newcastle clause' in Al-Nassr contract comes to light

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Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo's 'Newcastle clause' in Al-Nassr contract comes to light

Cristiano Ronaldo reportedly has a clause in his Al-Nassr contract to play for Newcastle United should they qualify for next season’s Champions League.

Ronaldo completed a stunning move to the Saudi Arabia club on Friday and is expected to earn in the region of £173million per year. The deal comes after Ronaldo ended his relationship with Manchester United by mutual consent in November following a bombshell interview with Piers Morgan.

With no other offers on the table, Ronaldo made the switch to the Middle East club and will link up with his new teammates in the coming days. His first meeting with new boss Rudi Garcia may prove somewhat awkward after the coach suggested he wanted the club to sign Lionel Messi – as Al-Nassr’s city rivals Al-Hilal selling shirts with the Argentine star’s name.

Ronaldo’s eye-catching deal in Saudi Arabia is said to include a clause that will allow him to make a loan move to Newcastle should the Magpies qualify for the Champions League next season. Eddie Howe’s side are currently third in the Premier League and are on course to feature in Europe’s premier club competition next campaign.

The details are outlined in a report in Marca, which claims that Ronaldo could make a stunning temporary move to St. James’s Park should they secure a top-four finish this campaign and progress through to the competition for the first time in two decades. Newcastle are owned by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund.

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The Portuguese forward has bagged a total of 140 goals in the competition, with his long-term rival Messi in second place with 129 strikes in the tournament. The Paris Saint-Germain star will feature in the knockout stages of the competition for Christophe Galtier’s side this season and will be hopeful of closing the scoring gap to Ronaldo into single figures.

Cristiano Ronaldo's 'Newcastle clause' in Al-Nassr contract comes to lightRonaldo flew to Saudi Arabia on Monday to complete his Al-Nassr switch (Getty Images)

Have Your Say! Is Ronaldo’s legacy tarnished by his form in recent months? Tell us what you think here.

The two superstars are comfortably clear in the competition's all-time scoring records, with third-placed Robert Lewandowski sitting on 91 goals. Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland, who might be eyeing those records over the course of their careers, are on 39 and 27 goals respectively.

Ronaldo was not involved in the Champions League this season after Manchester United's failure to qualify from last season's Premier League, in which they finished sixth. It is the first season that Ronaldo has not been involved in Europe's premier club competition since 2002/03, before his first switch to Old Trafford from Sporting CP.

Cristiano Ronaldo's 'Newcastle clause' in Al-Nassr contract comes to lightCristiano Ronaldo left Manchester United in November (Getty Images)

Ronaldo has been criticised in some quarters for choosing to end his career in Saudi Arabia. Former Liverpool star Jamie Carragher compared him negatively with Messi, following the Argentine's World Cup win.

"In some ways it's a sad end for him, Carragher told Sky Sports. "Two of the greatest players in Messi and Ronaldo - Ronaldo has finished his career during an interview with Piers Morgan and Messi has won the World Cup. It's not the best way to go out."

Colin Millar

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