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Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets is the latest La Liga star that Al-Nassr are reportedly trying to sign this summer to accompany Cristiano Ronaldo in Riyadh – but a move to the MLS could be on the cards instead. Several former team-mates of Ronaldo’s have been rumoured with a move to the Middle East to further bolster the Saudi Pro League side – and now his dear rival could also.
And according to Mundo Deportivo, Al-Nassr have offered the 2010 World Cup winner a two-year deal worth a whopping £32m ($38m).
The Spanish news outlet adds that Busquets is now waiting for an offer from the Blaugrana as he weighs up a potential switch to the Middle East.
Busquets, who is out of contract at the end of the season, has previously made clear a preference for the United States and singled out Miami, in particular, during an interview with Spanish radio station Cadena SER late last November, fuelling links to David Beckham’s Major League Soccer franchise Inter Miami.
At that time, the player also admitted he would like to have clarity and ‘decide’ by about February, however, that has yet to transpire this month.
Barcelona boss Xavi would prefer Busquets to move to the MLS so he can tie the midfielder down to a six-month contract extension because the MLS season will commence in February 2024.
But Ronaldo will be keen for his Saudi side to strengthen their ranks and could be disappointed if more quality additions are not brought in.
As well as Busquets, Real Madrid stars Karim Benzema and Luka Modric – both Ballon d’Or winners – are just two of the latest names linked with Ronaldo’s Al-Nassr, but the club’s manager Carlo Ancelotti played down that possibility earlier this month.
Busquets has played more matches (38) against Ronaldo than any other opponent, so it would pose as quite the change if the duo were to line up alongside each other as teammates.
Ronaldo’s current cast of teammates includes former Arsenal goalkeeper David Ospina, who is out injured with a fractured elbow, and one-time Champions League-winning midfielder with Bayern Munich, Luiz Gustavo, but no one of the same stature as Busquets.
Busquets and Ronaldo enjoyed many battles against each other during the Portugal international’s spell in La Liga with Real Madrid.
And you can be sure that Ronaldo would have taken notice to Busquets’ lavish praise of Messi in 2018 where he insisted that his ex-teammate is in a league of his own.
The Barca skipper was speaking after Messi was omitted from the Best FIFA Men’s Player Award, where Ronaldo was nominated alongside eventual winner Luka Modric and Mohamed Salah.
He told a news conference: “The best in the world now and for many years is Messi, who is the greatest and will continue to be until he retires.
“Modric is spectacular, but Messi has no comparison with Luka or anyone.”
Since his claims, Messi guided Argentina to World Cup glory in Qatar, while also winning the Ballon d’Or for a sixth and seventh time.
Busquets is currently sidelined through injury after picking up a knock in the recent 3-0 win over Sevilla.
He is now set to miss the Europa League knockout tie against Manchester United later this month.
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