Man United to release Ronaldo in January?

Manchester United are mulling the release of Cristiano Ronaldo on a free transfer.

According to inews, Ronaldo will be allowed to leave in the January transfer window.

Sources at the club have said that an exit strategy is being considered and United may be willing to cut their losses and let him go on a free transfer in January if there are no takers for the Portuguese legend.

The Portuguese star was linked with a move away during the summer transfer window, though Manchester United coach Erik ten Hag said he still featured in his plans for the season.

His behaviour was panned by critics and fans alike when he walked out into the tunnel before the final whistle during the Premier League match against Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday.

Former United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel said the 37-year-old has become a distraction at Old Trafford.

On Friday, Ten Hag confirmed Ronaldo refused to come on as a substitute in the match and he is now training away from the first-team squad.

He was left out of the squad that will face Chelsea on Saturday.

Wednesday was not the first time Ronaldo left the stadium early before a United match had finished this term, having departed ahead of the final whistle during a pre-season friendly against Rayo Vallecano.

Ten Hag insisted, however, it is not the end for Ronaldo at United.

“After Vallecano, I told him it was unacceptable… this is the second time, there are consequences. We miss him tomorrow. It’s a miss for the squad but it’s important for the attitude and mentality of the group and now we have to focus on Chelsea as that is important. The statement is also clear. He remains an important player in the squad.”

Ronaldo scored 24 goals in all competitions for United last season after joining them for a second spell from Juventus, but the Portugal international has started only two league games during the current campaign.

A five-times Ballon d’Or winner, Ronaldo scored his 700th career goal in United’s win at Everton this month, adding another milestone to his glittering trophy-laden career.

United are fifth in the Premier League table on 19 points, one behind fourth-placed Chelsea after 10 games.

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