Manchester United announce Cristiano Ronaldo decision after Newcastle United ‘talks’

Manchester United have confirmed the release of Cristiano Ronaldo with immediate effect.

The termination of Ronaldo’s contract 18-months early comes after the player fell out of favour at Old Trafford and hit out at Manchester United.

The Portuguese forward revealed in an interview that he felt betrayed by the club while also criticising the owners and management since his return.

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The 37-year-old returned to Man United last summer and enjoyed a solid first season back in England with 24 goals in 36 appearances in all competitions. But this season has been a different story as Ronaldo found himself in and out of the team and has scored just one league goal so far.

Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United walks off at half time during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Newcastle United at Old Trafford on October 16, 2022 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

On Tuesday evening, Man United confirmed Ronaldo's departure with a short club statement, which read: “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.

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“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.

The news of Ronaldo now being a free agent comes after reports emerged via The Daily Mail that Newcastle spoke to the player’s agent Jorge Mendes last month.

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Ronaldo’s reported £360,000 per-week wage is likely to price out many potential suitors and would also fall outside Newcastle’s current wage structure which has the club’s highest earners on less than £120,000-per-week.

Newcastle head coach Eddie Howe has also been questioned about Ronaldo but played down the prospect of a move as the club look to invest in younger players with potential.

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"He’s an outstanding player,” Howe admitted. “If you look at his goal record last year, it was incredible. For me, the transfer has worked, it’s been a success.

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"He scored some massive goals last year, and some really late important goals in the Champions League. He’s still an outstanding player and should never be underestimated.

“We’re trying to provide long-term growth, we’ve got a longer-term vision. At the moment, we have quite an ageing squad, so we probably need to invest in more young players. That’s probably a big part of our progression, really.

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“We need to get the average age down, so it might not be a signing that we would necessarily look to make – but not under-estimating the quality of the player.”

Newcastle midfielder Bruno Guimaraes also mentioned Ronaldo’s name as the type of player the club were not looking to sign at this moment in time.

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"It’s not about signing everyone just because they have money,” Guimaraes said. “It’s not bringing Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, Mbappe. It’s not like this.”

Bayern Munich have reportedly expressed an interest in Ronaldo’s potential availability in January. Chelsea, Atletico Madrid and Napoli all rejected the opportunity to sign the forward. His former club Sporting Lisbon remain keen, but only if the player were to take a significant wage cut.