Cristiano Ronaldo To Leave Manchester United With ‘Immediate Effect’
Cristiano Ronaldo to leave Manchester United with “immediate effect”, the Premier League giants announced Tuesday.
The Portugal forward appeared to be on his way out of Old Trafford following a recent television interview in which he said he felt “betrayed” by the club and had no respect for new manager Erik ten Hag.
“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,” according to the statement released by Manchester United.
‘Love United, love the fans’
Ronaldo issued a statement of his own, saying: “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.”
As well as criticizing the Old Trafford hierarchy and Ten Hag during his interview the 37-year-old Ronaldo, currently with the Portugal squad at the World Cup in Qatar, was scathing about the club’s US owners.
Ronaldo said the Glazer family cared far more about the money-making potential of United than results on the pitch.
The Glazers have long been unpopular with the United faithful, their 17 year reign marked by declining on-field performance and repeated fan protests
Sky News reported Tuesday the Glazers were preparing to formally announce their intention to examine potential sources of outside investment that could include either an auction of United, with a full or partial sale, or strategic partnership with third parties other possible options.
United have not won the Premier League title since 2013 and have sacked several managers following the retirement of Alex Ferguson.
They have also failed to qualify for this term’s Champions League, a setback which may have encouraged Ronaldo in appearing to push for a move in the pre-season transfer window.
But leading English and European clubs opted against moving for a player who, for all he recently scored the 700th goal of his club career, is not the force he once was yet still commands a reported weekly pay packet at United of around £500,000 ($593,000).
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has, however, reportedly held talks with Bayern Munich and been linked with an emotional return to Sporting Lisbon, where he came through the youth ranks.