Cristiano Ronaldo does not have a clause in his Al Nassr contract that would allow him to join Newcastle United if they qualify for the Champions League, Eddie Howe has said.
Five-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo was unveiled by Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr on Tuesday after signing a two-and-a-half-year deal following his Manchester United exit.
According to reports on Monday, the Portugal forward asked to be allowed to return to the Premier League with Saudi-backed Newcastle if they finished in the top four this term.
However, speaking ahead of Newcastle’s clash with Arsenal, Newcastle head coach Howe denied that is the case.
“We wish Cristiano all the best in his venture, but from our point of view there’s no truth in that,” Howe told Sky Sports.
Ronaldo is the Champions League’s all-time record scorer with 140 goals and has won the competition once with United and four times for Real Madrid.
Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Ronaldo effectively confirmed he will not join another European club before retiring.
“In Europe, my work is done. I won everything and played for the most important clubs in Europe,” he said.
“This is a great opportunity for me [at Al Nassr], not only in football but to change the mentality of the new generation in Saudi Arabia.
“I had many opportunities in Europe, Brazil, the United States and even Portugal, but I gave my word to this club, for the opportunity to develop football in this amazing country.”
Ronaldo, who has also previously played for Sporting CP and Juventus, could make his Al Nassr debut against Al Tai on Thursday.