The announcement comes after the 37-year-old forward Cristiano Ronaldo gave an explosive interview ahead of the World Cup in which he criticized manager Erik ten Hag and the club’s owners.
Cristiano Ronaldo is leaving Manchester United “with immediate effect”, the Premier League club announced on Tuesday.
The 37-year-old forward gave an explosive interview ahead of the World Cup, criticizing manager Erik ten Hag and the club’s owners.
Last week, United announced that they had taken appropriate action in response to Ronaldo’s comments.
“Cristiano Ronaldo is leaving Manchester United by mutual consent with immediate effect,” the club said in a statement. “The club would like to thank him for his huge contribution in two games at Old Trafford, scoring 145 goals in 346 appearances, and wish him and his family all the best for the future.”
Ronaldo, who is now playing for Portugal at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, said in a statement on Tuesday that he loves the club and the fans. “That will never change,” he added. “At the same time, it seems that the time is right to look for a new challenge. I wish the team success for the season and beyond.
In his pre-World Cup interview, Ronaldo said that the American owners of the club, the Glazer family , is far more concerned with United’s money-making potential than results on the pitch.
The Glazers have long been unpopular with the United faithful and their 17-year reign has been marked by diminished performances on the pitch and frequent fan protests.
Sky News reported on Tuesday that the Glazers are preparing to formally announce their intention to explore possible sources of external investment, which could include either a full or partial sale of United, strategic partnerships with third parties or other options.
United have not won the Premier League title since 2013 and have sacked several managers since Alex Ferguson’s retirement.
They also failed to qualify for the Champions League this season, which may have encouraged Ronaldo to move in the pre-season transfer window.
Meanwhile, former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand said both Ronaldo and the club got what they wanted.
“Cristiano obviously did this interview with the intention that he was not happy and wanted to leave the club,” Ferdinand, who played alongside Ronaldo at Old Trafford, told the BBC. “He said very clearly.
“I think Erik ten Hag got what he wanted in this situation as well. Both parties are happy and we can move on.
Ronaldo was no doubt angry at his diminished status at United, as the club were no longer at the top of English football.