LONODN (AFP) - Cristiano
Ronaldo is searching for a new team after a tumultuous few hours at Manchester United, during which they announced the superstar forward was leaving and the club could be sold.
The veteran Portugal forward set the stage for his Old Trafford exit last week with an outspoken interview on TalkTV, in which he said he felt “betrayed” by the club and had no respect for new manager Erik ten Hag.
There was clearly no way back for Ronaldo and United issued a statement on Tuesday confirming they were parting ways with one of the greatest players in their history by “mutual agreement, with immediate effect”.
Ronaldo, currently at the World Cup in Qatar, issued a statement of his own, declaring his love for the club and saying it “feels like the right time” to seek a new challenge.
As well as lashing out against United and Ten Hag, the 37-year-old was scathing about the club’s unpopular U.S. owners in his interview with Piers Morgan.
Ronaldo said the Glazer family, who loaded the club with huge debts when they bought it in 2005, cared more about the money-making potential of United than results.
Hours after the statement confirming Ronaldo was exiting the club, United issued another bulletin saying the Americans were considering selling up.
Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand, who played alongside Ronaldo at United, said both parties had got what they wanted.
The problem for Ronaldo is that leading English and European clubs opted against moving for him in the summer transfer window despite his desire to leave Old Trafford.
They will likely be even more wary now, having witnessed his erratic behaviour.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner, who recently scored his 700th club goal, is a fading force yet still commanded a huge reported weekly pay packet at United of around £500,000 ($595,000).