They had to do it, but it is still shocking to hear that Manchester United have terminated Cristiano Ronaldo’s contract with immediate effect.
Ronaldo’s position at United became untenable after his controversial interview in which the 37-year-old criticized the club and said he had “no respect” for manager Erik ten Hag.
United have long had a policy that no player in bigger than the club, and Roy Keane, David Beckham and Jaap Stam have all been left go when they thought they were.
Ronaldo 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. It also allows United to strengthen in January, and add another striker to help in their quest for a top four finish.
“The club thanks him for his immense contribution across two spells at Old Trafford,” said a Manchester United statement.
They wished “him and his family well for the future” and added “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”.
There are some that think that Ronaldo got exactly what he wanted. That he wanted out of Old Trafford, and the interview with Piers Morgan was the path to achieve that goal.
Unsurprisingly, Ronaldo has released a statement of his own reacting to this news. He feels that his exit has come at the “right time”.
“Following conversations with Manchester United we have mutually agreed to end our contract early.”
“I love Manchester United and I love the fans, that will never ever change. However, it feels like the right time for me to seek a new challenge.
“I wish the team every success for the remainder of the season and for the future.”