Wayne Rooney has issued a blunt verdict on Cristiano Ronaldo’s Manchester United exit – saying that there was “no option” for his old club other than to give the Portuguese star the boot.
Ronaldo’s long-term future at Old Trafford has been uncertain ever since the 37-year-old requested to leave the club last summer.
And although the striker did not get his wish, his position at the club became virtually untenable in the wake of his explosive interview with Piers Morgan last week where he slammed Erik ten Hag, the Glazer family and the facilities at the club.
The full 90-minute chat was so damning that United even sought legal advice to check whether they had grounds to terminate the last six months of Ronaldo’s £480,000-a-week contract.
An agreement has now been reached, with United confirming in a club statement on Tuesday night that their relationship with Ronaldo had been terminated with “immediate effect”.
The bombshell was just the start of a manic few hours for the Red devils, who also confirmed that the Glazer’s had effectively put the club up for sale later in the night.
Reacting to the news, Rooney was not surprised that action had been taken so quickly, even with Ronaldo currently away at the World Cup with Portugal.
“I think once everyone’s seen the interview, with Piers Morgan and how he attacked the club. I think there was no option,” Rooney admitted. “There’s no option for this [not] to happen, so I’m not surprised, no.”
Ronaldo wasted little time in reacting to the news himself. He posted an Instagram message thanking United supporters for their support shortly after the club confirmed his exit in a short statement.
The striker said: “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.”
The Portugal international is now free to join a new club – although any such deal is unlikely to be wrapped up until the conclusion of the World Cup.
Portugal begin their tournament with a game against Ghana on Thursday. Ronaldo missed their final warm-up match last week with a sickness bug but he is reported to be available for the Selecao’s Group H opener.