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Cristiano Ronaldo leaves Manchester United: What does mutual agreement mean in transfers?

The Portuguese forward told Piers Morgan that he felt disrespected by the club. Manchester United have responded by announcing his departure.

Cristiano Ronaldo durante un partido como jugador del Manchester United.

Manchester United has announced that Cristiano Ronaldo will leave the club with immediate effect, bringing to a close a tumultuous return to the club where he first became a global star.

Ronaldo, who finished as the club’s top goalscorer in the 2021/22 season, has not been a first choice starter under new coach Erik ten Hag this season. In an explosive interview with Piers Morgan the 37-year-old hit out at the club, top executives and his manager, making his position at Old Trafford untenable.

Cristiano Ronaldo is to leave Manchester United by mutual agreement, with immediate effect,” the club wrote in a brief statement. “The club thanks him for his immense contribution across two spells at Old Trafford.”

The term ‘mutual agreement’ is used fairly often in football transfer dealings and it can act as a shortcut to terminating a contract between two parties.

Ronaldo’s contract at Manchester United was not due to expire until summer 2023. But to facilitate a move away from Manchester, both Ronaldo and the Red Devils have agreed to cancel the contract now. FIFA regulations dictate: “A contract between a player and a club may … only be terminated on expiry of the contract or by mutual agreement.”

In the aftermath of the controversial interview with Piers Morgan the club reportedly sought legal advice in a bid to resolve the situation. Ronaldo’s salary is thought to be around £500,000 per week, a vast expense that the club were eager to be rid of.

Speaking to press in Qatar, where he is preparing for Portugal’s opening game of the World Cup, Ronaldo made clear that he does not regret his comments.

The forward said that he is “bullet proof,” adding: “I don’t have to worry what others think… I talk when I want to.”

Now that his contract has been cancelled by mutual agreement Ronaldo is a free agent going into the World Cup. His performances in the coming weeks could determine the level of club that he is able to find on his return to club football after the tournament.


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