Cristiano Ronaldo departs Manchester United on mutual terms, with immediate effect. The club appreciates his tremendous contribution during his two spells at Old Trafford. The Portugal captain scored 145 goals in 346 appearances during his two spells for Manchester United. Everyone at Old Trafford remains committed and focused on the team’s development and achieving success under Erik ten Hag.
The Portugal Forward Leaves “By Mutual Agreement” With No Compensation
Manchester United will not compensate Cristiano Ronaldo following his shocking departure from the club. United released a statement less than 48 hours ahead of Portugal’s opening World Cup fixture against Ghana. The statement confirms Cristiano Ronaldo’s immediate departure from the club.
The announcement follows the Portugal striker’s explosive interview with Piers Morgan last week. Ronaldo enraged United by launching accusations against manager Erik ten Hag, the Glazers, and the club’s administration. The idea that Ronaldo had breached his contract at Old Trafford prompted United’s determination to release him without compensation.
Since Ronaldo’s contract was set to end at the end of the campaign, he could have made up to £17 million more. Manchester United believes they have solid legal grounds to sue Ronaldo for breach of contract for the following reasons:
- Giving an explosive interview to Piers Morgan of TalkTV without permission
- Tarnishing the team’s reputation, and
- Refusing to come on as a substitute in a match against Tottenham last month at Old Trafford.
Cristiano Ronaldo on the Hunt for a New Club
Chelsea and Newcastle, two clubs rumored to be interested in signing Ronaldo last summer, are now said to have backed away from potential deals. David Beckham’s Inter Miami, who were rumored to be interested in Lionel Messi, are reportedly looking elsewhere. MLS clubs in the United States and Middle Eastern sides have also been linked to Cristiano Ronaldo. Ronaldo turned down an eye-watering offer from the Saudi club Al Hilal in the summer.
Manchester United desired a prompt and amicable resolution to avoid a drawn-out legal struggle with the attacker. Following discussions between attorneys for both parties, Old Trafford’s chief executive Richard Arnold, and Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes, the Red Devils’ requests were ultimately granted.
Ronaldo’s departure marks a sad and unpleasant finish to the player’s second term at Old Trafford. What was portrayed as a perfect “homecoming” turned out to be a nightmare. Will it increase the pressure on the 37-year-old free agent to perform for Portugal at the World Cup while he seeks a new club? On Thursday, Portugal will face Ghana at Stadium 974 in Doha.
Is It Over for the Five-Time Ballon d’Or Winner?
The manner of Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure and the events that led up to it may severely ruin his reputation. When expressing his desire for a summer transfer, he left Manchester United games on two separate occasions after Ten Hag took charge.
Eric ten Hag took Ronaldo off at halftime in a friendly match against Rayo Vallecano in July. It was Ronaldo’s first action after missing much of the preseason due to a family matter, so Ten Hag decided to sideline him. Ronaldo was the only member of the match-day squad for United, even though other players like Diogo Dalot also left early.
Ten Hag warned him. However, the 37-year-old twice declined to come on as a substitute before leaving down the tunnel in the 2–0 victory against Spurs. Eric ten Hag suspended Cristiano Ronaldo for the next match against Chelsea. However, the manager made him captain for the 3–1 loss to Aston Villa on November 6th.
The match against Aston Villa was Ronaldo’s final appearance in a United jersey, and his future is uncertain. Chelsea showed interest in him throughout the summer, but the club’s then-manager, Thomas Tuchel, ultimately decided against signing him despite Todd Boehly’s interest. Chelsea is not expected to pursue Ronaldo at this time.
Ronaldo can join a team at any time as a free agent, although Napoli, who had been a potential option, recently excluded themselves from signing him in January. If finding a team to play for in Europe is impossible, alternative options include the Chinese Super League, Major League Soccer, or a lucrative move to a club in west Asia. Last summer, Ronaldo was reportedly offered a €305 million, two-year contract to play for a Saudi Arabian club.