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Cristiano Ronaldo wants to be released from his Man Utd contract

Cristiano Ronaldo wants to be relinquished from the second year of his Man Utd contract as he explores a move to a Champions League club, The Times report.

The Portugal international rejoined the Red Devils after 12 long years last summer, and had a solid campaign with 24 goals and three assists across all competitions.

Despite his efforts, United only finished sixth in the Premier League with 58 points. This has meant that they won’t be playing in the Champions League next term.

Ronaldo, who has featured in the elite competition for 19 straight seasons, is obviously determined to extend the run, but so far, United are firm on their stance.

During Tuesday’s meeting at Carrington, United reiterated that they would like to keep him next season, having not received any offers from top European clubs.

Ronaldo is still reluctant to stay, and wants to relinquish the second year of his deal. He has been encouraged by the initial interest from Atletico Madrid and Bayern Munich.

United must not pay off Ronaldo to leave

Ronaldo made a stunning return to Old Trafford from Juventus last summer. He was undoubtedly the stand-out player despite missing key games due to a hip flexor issue.

The £27 million-rated star was let down by the inconsistent form of Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial, but the trio appear to be in fine touch during the ongoing pre-season.

Manager Erik ten Hag has got them playing an impressive brand of attacking football, and Ronaldo’s goalscoring exploits would add an extra edge as they look to compete for trophies.

Hence, United are within their own rights to keep Ronaldo, whose contract expires next summer with the option for another 12 months. If Ronaldo were to leave, it should be mutual with no compensation involved.

Even that should depend on United finding a replacement first. They would not want to go into the new campaign with Martial being the only option up front. Marcus Rashford has largely played out wide in pre-season.

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