Manchester United begin legal moves to terminate Cristiano Ronaldo’s club contract

Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United, parades with the Champions League trophy in 2008
Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United, parades with the Champions League trophy in 2008 - IMAGO / Colorsport

Manchester United have reportedly moved to sack Cristiano Ronaldo from the club after his controversial interview with TalkTV host Piers Morgan.

The Portugal international have been in the eye of the media all week following the release of his bombshell interview with the British TV personality in which he criticised his club, coach and some former players. 

According to Sportsmail, after listening to the full interview, Man United have decided to tear up Ronaldo’s contract at Old Trafford. The Red Devils have begun the legal process of tearing up the attacker’s £500,000-a-week contract without paying him a penny of the £16million he would have earned until it expired in June.

Club lawyers are satisfied Ronaldo has breached the terms of his contract with his controversial allegations against the club owners, the Glazers family, and the club management, including first-team coach Erik ten Hag and his teammates.

Earlier in the week, when the first part of the interview was released, United issued a statement stating they would consider their response once they established the full facts. After seeing the second part of the video, they issued a statement on Friday that read: 

“Manchester United has this morning initiated appropriate steps in response to Cristiano Ronaldo’s recent media interview. We will not be making further comments until this process reaches its conclusion.”

Meanwhile, United are reportedly reluctant to become mired in an unseemly court battle with one of their greatest-ever players and are not looking to sue Ronaldo. However, the club’s football director John Murtough, chief executive Richard Arnold and Erik Ten Hag have decided that Ronaldo has burnt his bridges at Old Trafford and there is no way back for him at the club.

The club want to deal with Ronaldo as fast as possible. They are reportedly looking to sort things out before the World Cup break is over, allowing the attacker to look for a new club as a free agent and give the Red Devils time to sign a replacement striker in the January transfer window. 

He is not expected back at Old Trafford or the club’s Carrington training base after the Qatar event. His teammates also expect him to leave soon, with the mood towards him described as ‘ambivalent’.