Eddie Howe has rubbished reports that Cristiano Ronaldo could join Newcastle United on loan from Al Nassr if the club qualifies for the Champions League.
A report from Marca claimed that the 37-year-old has a clause in his contract allowing him to join the Magpies on a temporary basis.
An excerpt from the article said: “This is because of the Middle Eastern link – with the North East outfit owned by the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund.”
However, those reports were quashed by the Magpies boss. Speaking to Sky Sports before the match against Arsenal, he said: “We wish Cristiano all the best in his new venture, but there’s no truth in that from our perspective.”
Ronaldo signed a two-and-a-half-year contract with Al Nassr and was officially unveiled to the media on Tuesday.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner was in a bullish mood during the press conference in Riyadh, and fired back at those criticising his move to Saudi Arabia.
“Many people speak and give their opinions, but they don’t know anything about football,” he explained.
“In the last 10 or 15 years, you have seen how football has evolved. If you look at the example of the World Cup, the only team that beat the champions were Saudi Arabia; don’t forget that.
“I’m really happy to be here, the league is very competitive. I know that because I saw many games.
“I am coming here to win, to play and enjoy my football. I want to be part of the success and culture of the country. I’m here together with the people of Al Nassr, my coach, and the president.”
Ronaldo also claimed that he had nothing more to achieve in Europe, which contradicted the report from Marca before Howe’s confirmation that the story was untrue.
“I want to give a different vision of the country and the football,” he added.
“In Europe my work is done, I won everything. I played for the most important clubs in Europe. For me now, it’s a new challenge.
“For me it’s not the end of my career coming to Saudi Arabia, and I’m not worried about what people say.”
Ronaldo could make his Al Nassr debut as soon as Thursday when they host Al-Ta’ee.
The Riyadh outfit currently sit top of the Saudi Pro League with 26 points from 11 games.