Manchester United have placed no restrictions on where Cristiano Ronaldo can play next but although he could join another Premier League team, Newcastle have already ruled out a move for the striker, sources have told ESPN.
The termination of Ronaldo’s contract at Old Trafford, which was due to run until June, has been described as a “clean break” and the 37-year-old can sign for another club immediately, without waiting for the January transfer window.
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Reports have suggested Newcastle, owned by a consortium led by the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia, could be a possible destination for the Portugal international but sources have told ESPN they have no interest.
Sources have also told ESPN that Ronaldo’s representatives are also hopeful of reigniting interest from Chelsea.
Agent Jorge Mendes met with Chelsea owner Todd Boehly in the summer but a potential deal was rejected by then manager Thomas Tuchel. The German has since been replaced with Graham Potter.
There is, however, expected to be strong interest from the middle east after an unnamed club in Saudi Arabia offered a contract worth around £2m-a-week in July.
Sources have told ESPN that Ronaldo has walked away from Old Trafford without a pay-off after United insisted their threat to sue was genuine.
United, who took extensive legal advice, believed they had a strong case that the interview with Piers Morgan amounted to “gross misconduct” under the terms of his contract.
Under the terms of contracts signed by every Premier League player, they are banned from giving interviews which are not authorised by clubs and are also prohibited from “writing or saying anything which is likely to bring the club into disrepute.”
Speaking to Morgan, Ronaldo said the club had made “zero progress” since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013, as well as criticising manager Erik ten Hag and the owners, the Glazer family.
United were also made aware that Ronaldo wanted to leave United as much as they wanted him out and because of that were reluctant to agree to any kind of financial package.
Ronaldo is set to lose around £15.5m in wages which were guaranteed under the terms of his £500,000-a-week deal which had seven months left to run.