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Report: Cristiano Ronaldo can leave Manchester United in January

Hat-trick performances from Phil Foden and Erling Haaland helped guide Manchester City to a dominant 6-3 victory over rivals Manchester United at the Etihad.

Cristiano Ronaldo will be able to leave Manchester United in January, as a report states that Erik ten Hag is open to the idea of letting the legendary forward move on.

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Ronaldo, 37, was an unused substitute in United’s humbling 6-3 defeat at Manchester City on Sunday.

Asked after the game why he didn’t bring on Ronaldo, Erik ten Hag said it was out of ‘respect’ for what Ronaldo had achieved in his incredible career to date.

Per the report from The Telegraph, it is believed that United will now not stand in the way of Cristiano Ronaldo leaving if an appropriate offer arrives in January.

Could this actually happen?

After wanting to leave all summer long, it appears that Cristiano Ronaldo knew what was going to happen.

He knew his style of play would not fit the style Erik ten Hag wanted to play and that has been pretty much spot on in the early months of the season.

United, and Erik ten Hag, dug their heels in and wanted Ronaldo to stick around and play a key role in their rebuild but it clearly won’t work.

A player of his quality, and on the wages United are paying him, cannot sit on the bench game after game. He just can’t.

Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, Anthony Martial and Antony have proved they can score goals and that United look a fluid attacking unit when three of those four players start in the front three.

Now seems like the time for Ronaldo to move on and it’s time for United to admit the Portuguese star was right to want to move on.

Where could he go?

At this point there will be a lot of Europe’s top teams chasing Ronaldo, still, and as he hasn’t played in the UEFA Champions League this campaign, he could provide a real boost for somebody in the knockout stages if he does get this move in January.

Sporting Lisbon and Juventus still seem like the most obvious choices and it all hinges on Ronaldo’s wage demands and who can get United to release him from his contract with a big enough transfer fee. Of course, he will have offers from all over the world but it seems like Ronaldo wants to stay in Europe for the next few years, at the very least.

Ronaldo will now be focused on getting enough minutes between now and the World Cup next month to make sure he’s fit enough to lead Portugal’s charge in Qatar and then when he returns to Manchester in December, he will be able to focus on his club future.

As things stand, it’s very unlikely Ronaldo will be playing at Manchester United in 2023.

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