Cristiano Ronaldo to leave Manchester United with immediate effect as contract terminated by mutual consent

Cristiano Ronaldo to leave Manchester United with immediate effect as contract terminated by mutual consent

Manchester United and Cristiano Ronaldo have parted ways with immediate effect, both parties confirmed in a bombshell announcement on Tuesday evening.

Ronaldo’s early departure was confirmed following the huge controversy that erupted as a result of the Portuguese superstar’s headline-grabbing interview with Piers Morgan last week, in which he made a number of explosive claims against United and revealed he did not respect current manager Erik ten Hag.

The unsanctioned interview infuriated United and appeared to leave no way back for Ronaldo at Old Trafford after a rocky few months and unresolved summer transfer saga, with multiple reports claiming that they had since begun the process of ending his £500,000-a-week contract at the club, which ran until next summer with the option for a further year.

In Pictures | Cristiano Ronaldo

(REUTERS)
(REUTERS)
Manchester United (Manchester United via Getty Images)
Manchester United (Manchester United via Getty Images)
Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United poses with Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after signing his contract with the club at Carrington Training Ground (Manchester United via Getty Images)
Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United poses with Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after signing his contract with the club at Carrington Training Ground (Manchester United via Getty Images)
Manchester United training session (Manchester United via Getty Images)
Manchester United training session (Manchester United via Getty Images)
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag chats with Christiano Ronaldo of Manchester United during the Pre-Season Friendly match between Manchester United and Rayo Vallecano at Old Trafford (Getty Images)
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag chats with Christiano Ronaldo of Manchester United during the Pre-Season Friendly match between Manchester United and Rayo Vallecano at Old Trafford (Getty Images)
Portugal's forward Cristiano Ronaldo scores his team's third goal during the UEFA EURO 2020 Group F football match between Hungary and Portugal at the Puskas Arena in Budapest on June 15, 2021 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Portugal's forward Cristiano Ronaldo scores his team's third goal during the UEFA EURO 2020 Group F football match between Hungary and Portugal at the Puskas Arena in Budapest on June 15, 2021 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Juventus' Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo holds the cup after Juevntus won the final of the Italian Cup (Coppa Italia) football match Atalanta vs Juventus at the Citta del Tricolore stadium in Reggio Emilia. (AFP via Getty Images)
Juventus' Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo holds the cup after Juevntus won the final of the Italian Cup (Coppa Italia) football match Atalanta vs Juventus at the Citta del Tricolore stadium in Reggio Emilia. (AFP via Getty Images)
Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal celebrates after scoring his team's first goal during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group B match between Portugal and Spain at Fisht Stadium on 15th June 2018 in Sochi, Russia (Getty Images)
Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal celebrates after scoring his team's first goal during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group B match between Portugal and Spain at Fisht Stadium on 15th June 2018 in Sochi, Russia (Getty Images)
Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates with the Premier League trophy in 2009 (Man Utd via Getty Images)
Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates with the Premier League trophy in 2009 (Man Utd via Getty Images)
Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo lifts The UEFA Champions League trophy following his sides victory in the 2018 UEFA Champions League Final vs Liverpool at NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium in Kiev, Ukraine (Getty Images)
Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo lifts The UEFA Champions League trophy following his sides victory in the 2018 UEFA Champions League Final vs Liverpool at NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium in Kiev, Ukraine (Getty Images)
Sir Alex Ferguson greets Cristiano Ronaldo as the young Portugese player signs for Manchester United at the Carrington Training Ground, Carrington on August 12, 2003 i (Man Utd via Getty Images)
Sir Alex Ferguson greets Cristiano Ronaldo as the young Portugese player signs for Manchester United at the Carrington Training Ground, Carrington on August 12, 2003 i (Man Utd via Getty Images)

United insisted in their brief statement on Tuesday that the 37-year-old’s exit was by mutual consent, despite those suggestions that he would be sacked.

“Cristiano Ronaldo is to leave Manchester United by mutual agreement, with immediate effect,” United said in a statement.

“The club thanks him for his immense contribution across two spells at Old Trafford.”

Ronaldo’s own statement read: “Following talks with Manchester United, we’ve mutually agreed to end our contract.

“I love Manchester United and I love the fans, that will never ever change. It feels like the right time to seek a new challenge. I wish Man Utd all the best”.

It is a notably sour end to Ronaldo’s second spell at the club where he made his name, having rejoined from Juventus on a two-year contract for a fee of just £12.86million in the summer of 2021.

He made 346 appearances in total for United across those two eras, scoring 145 goals and winning a plethora of major silverware during his first stint under Sir Alex Ferguson, including three Premier League titles, the Champions League and FA Cup.

The announcement of his departure came less than 48 hours before Ronaldo and Portugal are due to open their World Cup campaign against Ghana in Qatar.

The six-time Ballon d’Or winner is now free to find another club, with first employers Sporting Lisbon the early bookmakers’ favourites, ahead of the likes of Chelsea, Bayern Munich and a potential switch to Major League Soccer (MLS) in the United States.