Vincent Aboubakar has revealed that ex-Man Utd striker Cristiano Ronaldo tried to persuade him to stay at Al Nassr but he “told him no”.
Ronaldo departed Man Utd at the end of last year as his contract was terminated by mutual consent.
This followed the forward’s controversial interview with Piers Morgan. During this, he hit out at Erik ten Hag, Ralf Rangnick and the Glazer family.
The 38-year-old was linked with Bayern Munich and Chelsea during his second spell at Man Utd but neither club attempted to sign him after he was let go by the Red Devils.
Instead, he moved to Saudi Arabia to join Al Nassr. He is reportedly earning around £177m a year at the Middle East club.
Ronaldo’s arrival meant that Al Nassr needed to sacrifice one international player and Aboubakar was the player let go so the ex-Man Utd player could be registered.
Heading into the January transfer window, Aboubakar only had six months remaining on his contract and he was linked with Man Utd before they brought in Wout Weghorst as a short-term replacement for Ronaldo.
It was even reported that a deal was ‘agreed’ for Aboubakar to join the Premier League club on loan until the summer.
The Cameroon captain impressed at the World Cup and he instead opted to return to Turkish side Besiktas. He has now revealed that Ronaldo “wanted him to stay” at Al Nassr.
“We talked a bit and his [Ronaldo’s] opinion was that he wanted me to stay. I told him no, that I will leave for family reasons,” Aboubakar told Canal+ (via The Daily Mail).
“He asked me where my family was, I told him they are in France and so I prefer to go to Turkey, it’s closer. And he told me it’s better, if your family is really far away, it’s more complicated. I was firm, I wanted to leave.”
Aboubakar later explained that he left the club “angry” as the way that he departed “was not easy”.
“I left a little angry because it was not easy. When Cristiano arrived, [Al Nassr] coach Rudi Garcia called me into his office,” Aboubakar added.
“He told me that normally an international player has to leave, it’s either me or Jaloliddin Masharipov [from Uzbekistan], either me or Pity.
“I told him that I already wanted to leave before and, honestly, as Cristiano was coming, my playing time would be reduced and it was better for me to leave.
“I had offers, including one from Besiktas. They wanted me to stay until the end of the season. I said ‘no honestly president I prefer to leave’.
“It was a bit complicated but finally they let me go.”