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Manchester United agree Cristiano Ronaldo exit with immediate effect

WHAT HAPPENED? Man Utd have announced Ronaldo will leave the club in the wake of an explosive interview where he criticised the club and manager Erik ten Hag. The Red Devils initially responded by confirming they had “initiated appropriate steps” in response to the interview and have now announced they have parted ways with the Portugal international.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Ronaldo’s exit comes as no surprise as his situation at the club looked untenable, particularly after he declared he did not respect Ten Hag. The Red Devils’s decision to wave goodbye to Ronaldo means they have now backed the Dutchman over the Portuguese superstar. Man Utd will now look to move on from what has been an unsavoury episode, while Ronaldo is searching for his fourth club in just over four years.

WHAT THEY SAID?: “Cristiano Ronaldo is to leave Manchester United by mutual agreement, with immediate effect,” read a club statement. “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.”

Instead of his employers unilaterally forcing him out of the club, the 37-year-old agreed to terminate his contract, a move that will doubtless cast a shadow over his preparations for the World Cup, where Portugal kick off on Thursday.

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

Ronaldo’s contract was due to expire at the end of the season. He will now be searching for his fourth club in a little over four years.

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