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Where Can Cristiano Ronaldo Play if his Manchester United Contract is Terminated?

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Erik ten Hag reacts to 'phenomenal' Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo after 700-goal milestone.

In the wake of Manchester United’s victory over Tottenham Hotspurs, discussions about Cristiano Ronaldo’s refusal to come off the bench and how he stormed off to the dressing room overshadowed United’s brilliant performance in the game.

It was an excellent showing for United on the night as the team performed excellently, even beyond the projections of the best for the match. But rather than congratulate the team on the victory, Ronaldo decided to protest his lack of game time.

The rumor mills have been spinning about a possible contract termination since Manchester United and Erik ten Hag decided to take disciplinary actions against Ronaldo.

Could this be the end of Ronaldo’s relationship with Manchester United?

What has changed since the start of the season?

Cristiano Ronaldo has had a poor second season on his Manchester United return.
Cristiano Ronaldo has had a poor second season on his Manchester United return. (Photo by IAN HODGSON/AFP via Getty Images)

At the start of the season, Erik ten Hag and Manchester United were strongly against Ronaldo leaving the club. The Dutch coach told journalists that Ronaldo was a major part of his plans on several occasions.

Ronaldo finished as United’s top scorer last season. He wanted out as he desired to play Champions League football, but it seemed no team was ready to meet his huge wage demands.

Eventually, Ronaldo decided to stay at United. But after missing preseason due to family reasons and United’s poor run of results at the start of the campaign, Erik ten Hag seems to have found his selected XI without Ronaldo.

Ronaldo does not seem to agree with Erik ten Hag on playing him from the bench. However, statistics released by Opta show that United cover more distance (108.5km/game) without Ronaldo than they do with Ronaldo (98.5km/game). 

United also earn an average of 2.25 points per game without Ronaldo, and they struggle to earn 0.5 points with Ronaldo in the starting XI. Bookies always consider these statistics when setting up UK betting offers, and bettors are learning to pay more attention to them.

Ronaldo has lost his shooting boots. With the FIFA World Cup less than a month away, Ronaldo wants to play more to be ready for the tournament.

Could lack of game time affect Ronaldo’s World Cup chances?

Cristiano Ronaldo is an essential player for the Portuguese national team. He is the side’s captain, and his place in Portugal’s World Cup squad does not feel threatened.

But Ronaldo’s lack of game time and inability to find his goal-scoring form could negatively impact his performances for Portugal. Ronaldo wants to win the World Cup for Portugal. He knows the key to upsetting the odds would be excellent performances from him and his Portuguese teammates.

Where Ronaldo could go to play

Football can be unpredictable, but if Ronaldo makes a January move to leave United, he could play for any of the following teams:

AS Roma

Jose Mourinho has been full of praise for Ronaldo in recent weeks. Mourinho is challenging for the Serie A title and Europa League this season, but his squad lacks clinical firepower upfront. If Ronaldo was available, AS Roma could make a move for him.


Napoli is another Italian side that is in the news for Ronaldo. There were rumors of a potential swap for Osimhen in the summer, which did not materialize. If Ronaldo parts ways with United, the prospect of playing in the Champions League with Napoli could be a major attraction for the player.

Paris Saint-Germain

PSG can afford Ronaldo’s wage demands. They may likely push for his services if he is available. The rumours about Kylian Mbappe being unsettled could mean that PSG may need to replace him with Ronaldo.

Major League Soccer

Major League Soccer teams in the US are also some of the football teams that can afford Ronaldo’s wage demands.


With oil money-backed sponsorship, affording Ronaldo’s wages will not be a problem for most Asian teams.

Ronaldo is still a top player who can make a difference for many teams. There is a shortage of clinical strikers in world football, but most teams cannot afford Ronaldo’s enormous wages.