Cristiano Ronaldo responds to reports of £173m-per-season transfer agreed following Man Utd exit

The former Manchester United star said he has not signed a deal with a new club following his Old Trafford exit.

Cristiano Ronaldo has denied reports he has agreed a £173m-per-season contract with Saudi Arabian club Al-Nassr.

Spanish outlet Marca claimed on Monday that a deal had been signed by the former Manchester United star, who was released by mutual consent last month following that bombshell interview with Piers Morgan where Ronaldo criticised the club’s owners, players and manager. Speaking after Portugal’s emphatic 6-1 victory over Switzerland on Tuesday, the 37-year-old was asked about those reports in Spain. “No, that’s not true – not true,” he told journalists.

Ronaldo is, of course, free to sign for any club he wishes, but there have been a lack of reports linking him with elite European clubs. His status as Portugal’s most dangerous forward could also be under threat following manager Fernando Santos’ decision to drop the five-time Ballon d’Or winner for the last-16 win at the World Cup.

It also looks unlikely he’ll be selected in the starting line-up for the quarter-final clash with Morocco on Sunday, following comments made by Santos after the win over Switzerland. Asked if Ronaldo has a new role in his squad, the 68-year-old responded: “That is still something that has to be defined. I have a very close relationship with him, I’ve known him since he was 19 at Sporting.

“Ronaldo and I never misinterpret the human and personal aspect with that of manager and player. I will always consider that he is a very important player to have in the team.

“[The matter] is something that is finished and solved. It is also important to look at this player’s history, he is one of the best players.”

In Ronaldo’s absence, Benfica forward Goncalo Ramos took centre stage. The striker scored a hat-trick for the Portuguese, ending any debate about Santos’ decision to select him above one of football’s greatest-ever players.

The ex-Real Madrid and Juventus man appeared to react positively after being relegated to the bench and was seen smiling from the touchline and celebrating with team-mates after Portugal’s goals. In an Instagram post after the match, he also wrote: “Incredible day for Portugal, with a historic result in the biggest competition in world football.

“Luxury exhibition of a team full of talent and youth. Our Selection is to be congratulated. The dream is alive! Until the end! Strength, Portugal!”