Ronaldo will leave Man Utd with immediate effect
Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo will leave Manchester United with immediate effect.
The decision follows a controversial interview in which the 37-year-old criticized the club and said he has “no respect” for manager Erik ten Hag.
Both sides claimed that Ronaldo’s departure was “mutually agreed”.
“The club is grateful to him for his immense contribution over two spells at Old Trafford,” a Manchester United statement said.
They wished “him and his family well in the future” and added that “everyone at Manchester United remains focused on continuing the team’s progress with Erik ten Hag and working together to achieve success on the pitch.”
United are fifth in the Premier League in Ten Hag’s first season as manager, with a break for the World Cup in Qatar.
Ronaldo is with Portugal at the tournament and is set to captain them in their Group H opener against Ghana on Thursday.
He spoke to the media in Qatar on Monday, saying he will “speak when he wants” and that his dispute with United will not “harsh” the Portugal national team.
Ronaldo, who scored 145 goals in 346 appearances for United, left Juventus to rejoin the Old Trafford club in August 2021, 11 years after leaving to join Real Madrid.
He had just over seven months left on his £500,000-a-week United contract and his departure leaves him free to sign for another club when the January transfer window opens.
“Following discussions with Manchester United, we have mutually agreed to terminate our contract early,” Ronaldo said in a statement.
“I love Manchester United and I love the fans, that will never change. However, it feels like the right time to look for a new challenge.
“I wish the team every success for the rest of the season and for the future.”
Both parties are happy and we can move on – Ferdinand
Ronaldo had not played for United due to an unspecified illness since captaining them in the 3-1 defeat at Aston Villa on November 6.
He was dismissed for the Premier League game at Chelsea last month for Ten Hag after refusing to come on as a substitute against Tottenham three days earlier.
In his TalkTV interview last week, Ronaldo said he had no regrets about refusing to come on as a late substitute in a win over Spurs as he felt Ten Hag had “provoked him”.
He also spoke about how he generally felt “betrayed by the club” and, along with his view of Ten Hag, added that he felt he had been forced out of the club.
He also said he had seen “no development” at the club since former manager Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013.
Ronaldo mentioned that he was close to joining Manchester City before his return to United, while he had done so turned down a £305m deal to join a club in Saudi Arabia in the summer.
He spoke about the loss of his son in April and how he was touched by a tribute Liverpool fans paid him at a game against United at Anfield in the following days.
United responded last Friday with a statement saying it had “initiated appropriate measures” in response.
“Cristiano obviously did this interview with the mindset that he was not happy and wanted to leave the club. He made that very clear,” former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand told BBC Sport.
“I think Erik ten Hag also got what he wanted in this situation. Both sides are happy and we can move on.
“The next chapter for Cristiano? It depends on what his motivation is. To play in the Champions League? Money? To continue playing somewhere with a nice climate?
“We’ll find out in due course, I’m sure.”