Danny Townsend, chairman of the Australian Football League, is seeking to secure Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo for one of the tournament’s teams, although he admits Australian offers may be worth less than rival bids for the Manchester United player.

Mystery surrounds Ronaldo’s future with his current club, after he said during an interview that he was “betrayed” by the club and that he did not respect Dutch coach Eric ten Hag.

Townsend said in media statements in Australia on Thursday that he had made an offer to Ronaldo’s agent, Jorge Mendes, in the event that the Portuguese player left his current team.

Townsend said: “(Ronaldo) said he doesn’t get any love or respect at Manchester United but we will certainly give him a lot of love and respect in Australia.”

He added: We may not be able to compete financially with other offers, but we can compete in other aspects.

Ronaldo’s former teammate at Manchester United, Nani, joined Australian club Melbourne Victory this season.

Ronaldo, the historic top scorer in men’s football competitions, with 117 goals in 191 official matches, is preparing to lead the Portugal national team in the 2022 Flag Cup finals in Qatar, in his fifth participation in the world finals.

Townsend said in statements to a local radio in Australia earlier on Thursday as well: Obviously this is a big step, but we certainly made him a great offer to consider.

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