Cristiano Ronaldo told Man Utd’s stance on allowing him to leave in January

October 4, 2022

Cristiano Ronaldo is out of contract next summer, with Manchester United able to trigger another year if they want, but the Portuguese has been linked with a move in January

Cristiano Ronaldo faces the prospect of having to see out the remainder of his contract – with Manchester United reluctant to let him leave in January.

Ronaldo’s resolve to leave United hardened after boss Erik ten Hag left him on the bench for the entirety of Sunday’s emphatic 6-3 derby defeat at Manchester City. Having failed to secure a move away from United in the summer, Ronaldo and his representatives are working to try to find the forward an escape route when the window opens in the new year.

But it is understood United are likely to be unwilling to let Ronaldo leave midway through the season, given they have no plans to enter the transfer market themselves in January for a striker. Against that backdrop, there is a reluctance at United to let Ronaldo go and leave themselves weaker in terms of cover, with Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial both injury-prone.

That leaves Ronaldo likely to have to see out the remaining six months of his £500,000-a-week contract against his will, before being able to leave as a free agent next summer. Although Ronaldo’s current deal contains the option of a one-year extension, United are not set to trigger it, with the acceptance that a parting of the ways is in the best interests of both parties.

But with Rashford and Martial having already missed games this season through injury, United are unwilling to let Ronaldo leave and then potentially find they are short of cover in attack should either be unavailable again. Ronaldo’s only Premier League start this season came in United’s 4-0 humiliation at Brentford back in August, since when he has played just 80 minutes in the league.

Where will Cristiano Ronaldo go after leaving Man Utd? Have your say here

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner was overlooked on Sunday for Martial, who came off the bench in the second-half to score twice against City, following his return from injury.

UEFA rules would allow Ronaldo to sign for a team playing in the Champions League in January and play in the knockout rounds, despite having made two Europa League appearances. But with United set to stand firm, unless a striker on their target list becomes available in January and a deal can be done, Ronaldo is set to see out the rest of the season at Old Trafford.