Manchester United have reached an agreement with Cristiano Ronaldo to mutually terminate his contract with immediate effect, the Premier League club announced on Tuesday evening.
The announcement marked a bitter end to the Portugal captain’s second spell at Old Trafford after he said in an interview that he felt betrayed by the club.
It was reported last week that United had started a legal process against Ronaldo for breach of contract after his interview with Piers Morgan. That work has developed rapidly and the 37-year-old’s exit has been finalised.
A statement by the club 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.”
Ronaldo too released a statement saying the decision to leave was mutually agreed.
“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,” he wrote on his social media pages.
Ronaldo is with Portugal at the World Cup in Qatar and is set to captain them in their opening Group H game against Ghana on Thursday.
He had has just over seven months remaining on his £500,000-a-week contract with United and his departure leaves him free to sign for another club when the transfer window opens in January.
Ronaldo conducted a highly-critical interview prior to the World Cup where the attacker accused his employers of betrayal and took swipes at head coach Erik ten Hag, as well as the club’s hierarchy.
The Old Trafford side released a statement on Thursday, saying: “Manchester United has this morning initiated appropriate steps in response to Cristiano Ronaldo’s recent media interview.
“We will not be making further comment until this process reaches its conclusion.”