Cristiano Ronaldo to leave Manchester United with immediate effect after mutual contract termination
Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United walks off after the Premier League match between Aston Villa and Manchester United at Villa Park on November 6, 2022 in Birmingham, United Kingdom. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images

Cristiano Ronaldo's homecoming horror show has come to an end after Manchester United reached an agreement with Ronaldo's representatives to mutually terminate his contract.

A statement released by the club on Tuesday evening read:

"Cristiano Ronaldo is to leave Manchester United by mutual agreement, with immediate effect.

"The club thanks him for his immense contribution across two spells at Old Trafford, scoring 145 goals in 346 appearances, and wishes him and his family well for the future.

“Everyone at Manchester United remains focused on continuing the team's progress under Erik ten Hag and working together to deliver success on the pitch."

Ronaldo released a farewell statement of his own, reading:

"Following conversations with Manchester United, we have mutually agreed to end our contract early.

"I love Manchester United and I love the fans, that will never ever change. However, it feels like the right time for me to seek a new challenge.

"I wish the team every success for the remainder of the season and for the future."

The decision follows Ronaldo dropping harsh truths as well as taking unneeded swipes at the club in a bombshell interview with Piers Morgan.

Ronaldo said that he had "felt betrayed" by the club and felt that he was being forced out not only by the manager, but club executives as well.

The Portuguese star believed that he was disrespected by manager Erik ten Hag, stating:

"I don't have respect for him because he doesn't show respect for me" alluding to his omissions from the starting eleven under the new manager.

Ronaldo and Ten Hag had a sour relationship from day one (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images)
Ronaldo and Ten Hag had a sour relationship from day one (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images)

Ronaldo also claimed that former manager Ralf Rangnick, who was appointed interim manager after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's dismissal was not fit to manage the club.

"If you're not even a coach, how are you going to be the boss of Manchester United? I'd never even heard of him" he stated. Harsh but fair.

 (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

He criticised the state of the club, claiming that nothing had changed since he departed in 2009.

When speaking about how he felt when he returned in 2021 he said:

"The progress was zero. Since Sir Alex left, I saw no evolution in the club. Nothing had changed."

The swipes didn't stop there however, as the 37-year-old had a dig at club legend Wayne Rooney:

"I don't know why he criticises me so badly...probably because he finished his career and I'm still playing at a high level"

He then added "I'm not going to say that I'm better looking than him. Which is true."

The interview was not the only time the forward had demonstrated his unprofessionalism this season, with Ronaldo already having had his fair share of off-field drama previously this campaign.

He left Old Trafford early during a friendly against Rayo Vallecano in pre-season which ended 0-0.

The veteran was hooked at half-time and was later filmed in his car outside the ground before the final whistle.

Ronaldo refused to come on when summoned from the bench, during United's 2-0 victory over Tottenham last month, feeling disrespected that a player of his calibre would be relegated to bench duty in such a game.

Unfortunately for him, he is not what he once was, which seems abundantly clear to everyone but himself.

As a consequence, he was left out of the travelling squad the following week against Chelsea and was forced to train alone.

He was absent from United's final Premier League outing before the World Cup break against Fulham, with "illness" being stated as the reason.

  • What next for Ronaldo?

With only one goal in 10 Premier League games, Ronaldo is starting to show clear signs of decline.

Who once was the king of kings, has now lost his throne.

Ronaldo, who turns 38 in February is unlikely to have many suitors given his age and excessive wage demands- reported to be in excess of £500,00 per week.

Chelsea could be a possible destination due to initial talks having already been held over the summer, with owner Todd Boehly keen for a statement signing.

The move was vetoed by former manager Thomas Tuchel however, who was unenthused at having to rip up his system to accommodate the striker.

It remains to be seen if Graham Potter would welcome the striker, but with the West London club being one of a limited number of sides who could afford his sizeable salary, they could be a serious option.

Another Premier League club who could prove to be an option is Newcastle United.

With their bottomless pit of funds, the Magpies can more than afford Ronaldo's mega wages.

The project at St James' Park is ahead of schedule, with Champions League football looking like a serious possibility next year.

Despite this, Ronaldo's demanding attitude, ego and childish antics is likely to be a stumbling block.

Eddie Howe has put together a squad not only high in quality, but willing to die for one another.

Howe would not want any potential disruptions to tarnish what is a harmonious football club from top to bottom.

Nevertheless, he would be a decent backup for Callum Wilson.

 (Photo by Alex Dodd - CameraSport via Getty Images)
(Photo by Alex Dodd - CameraSport via Getty Images)

A move back to Portugal to re-sign for his boyhood side, Sporting Lisbon seems the most likely option for now.

Lisbon was where it all began for Ronaldo, as the tricky winger attracted the interest of Sir Alex Ferguson due to his flair and arrogant swagger.

The Primeira Liga side have a section dedicated to him in their museum and have renamed their academy training facilities after him.

Financial restrictions could halt the move however, but Ronaldo may favour the love and affection he will receive, over the paycheck.

 

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