- Portugal player exits ‘by mutual agreement’ and with no payoff
- Recent interview had cast doubt on forward’s future
Cristiano Ronaldo has left Manchester United by “mutual agreement” after the serious allegations he made in an interview, in an ignominious end to a supremely successful career at the club. He has left without a payoff and there are no restrictions on who he can play for next.
Ronaldo made several claims against United including that the manager, Erik ten Hag, did not respect him and that executives did not believe his need for compassionate leave in the close season.
Ronaldo is with Portugal at the Qatar World Cup and in his absence United banned him from the training ground and explored potential legal action.
A statement said: “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 had about £13.5m left on a contract that expired in June. “Following conversations with Manchester United we have mutually agreed to end our contract early,” Ronaldo said. “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.”
In his first spell at United, between 2003 and 2009, Ronaldo won the Champions League, three Premier Leagues, the FA Cup, two League Cups and the Fifa World Player of the Year award.
The manner of his exit and what predicated it, though, may seriously tarnish his reputation. He twice walked out of United games before the end after Ten Hag took over in the summer.