Cristiano Ronaldo advises ex-Man Utd teammate’s next step as £20m man divided over two routes

Ciaran McCarthy
Manchester United defenders Eric Bailly and Harry Maguire
Manchester United defenders Eric Bailly and Harry Maguire

Cristiano Ronaldo has reportedly advised Manchester United defender Eric Bailly on the ‘league and lifestyle’ in Saudi Arabia, as he has offers from two clubs wanting to pay him £20million.

Bailly’s time at Old Trafford is coming to an end. The centre-back has played just 113 games in seven years since joining from Villarreal.

The last season he actually spent at United saw him play just seven times in all competitions. He was shipped out on loan to Marseille last season, where he failed to impress.

Since then, Bailly has apparently been told there’s no place for him back at United, which is not a surprise. That he wasn’t included in their pre-season tour squad seems to add weight to that.

He does apparently have options for his next move, though. Indeed, Sky SportsDharmesh Sheth states there is interest in him from two Saudi Arabian sides – it’s recently been reported Al Nassr are keen on him, so they are likely one of the two clubs.

The defender is apparently in talks with both sides, each of which have offered him three-year deals worth £20million. Clearly unsure what to do on the whole, and potentially divided by the decision between each offer, he has employed the help of former United teammate Ronaldo.

Of course, the Portuguese star joined Al Nassr after parting ways with United earlier this year, and opened the floodgates for an influx of European stars to head to the Saudi Pro League.

Sheth reports Ronaldo spoke to Bailly directly to ‘tell him about the league and lifestyle’ in Saudi Arabia. If Al Nassr are indeed one of the clubs to have approached the defender, he could well reunite with Ronaldo.

Not only him, but another former United player in Alex Telles. It was confirmed today (July 23) that the left-back has joined Al Nassr on a permanent deal.

Neither the fee paid nor the length of his deal at the club have been announced as yet. In any case, Telles is the latest in a lengthening line of players from top European leagues to make the switch to Saudi Arabia.

The quality of the league is rising with the acquisitions. While it’s becoming less and less surprising that players are heading over there now, seeing Bailly do it would not be a shock, especially given the potential of a reunion with two former teammates, along with a very good wage.

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