Cristiano Ronaldo has been sacked by Manchester United. They’re officially calling it an exit by “mutual agreement”, but we can all recognize a sacking when we see one after plenty of “mutual agreement” departures of Chelsea managers over the years.
(It’s “mutual” since there is no payoff or severence.)
Ronaldo has left #MUFC without a payoff. He did not demand any money from the remainder of his contract. #MUFC (and their lawyers) were adamant mutual termination would not cost the club anything significant.— Ben Jacobs (@JacobsBen) November 22, 2022
United’s statement is barely longer than when Chelsea sacked Antonio Conte, underlining just how badly their relationship had deteriorated, with the 37-year-old’s interview with Piers Morgan last week the final straw.
“Cristiano Ronaldo is to leave Manchester United by mutual agreement, with immediate effect.
“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.”
That last line is perhaps most instructive about the situation, and is one that hopefully Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly is paying attention to and will heed before making some drastic and disastrous decision. He apparently still “sees the appeal” of the player who almost sabotaged United’s season.
This remains the situation. Todd Boehly sees the appeal of Cristiano Ronaldo. Graham Potter is less convinced. Ronaldo on a free, and with a pay cut, probably makes Boehly even more intrigued. A move has consistently been called "complicated" by sources, even after Tuchel sacked. https://t.co/wWl9TdNZMT— Ben Jacobs (@JacobsBen) November 22, 2022
Cristiano Ronaldo may be “free” now, but he will come at a very high cost. Boehly reportedly clashed with former head coach Thomas Tuchel over this idea in the summer, and while Graham Potter is said to share Tuchel’s sensibilities in this regard, he may not have the clout or the determination to oppose the owner, should he choose to meddle.
Listen to everyone else, Todd.