Manchester United

Man Utd & Cristiano Ronaldo prepared to part ways - Cody Gakpo eyed as replacement

Ronaldo could be spending more time on the bench in a bib over the next few weeks
Ronaldo could be spending more time on the bench in a bib over the next few weeks / Alex Pantling/GettyImages
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Manchester United and Cristiano Ronaldo are prepared to part ways following a recent fall out between the player and manager Erik ten Hag, though the method of the 37-year-old's Old Trafford exit remains up in the air.

90min understands that as it stands, and despite Ronaldo leaving the substitutes' bench before the full time whistle during United's win over Tottenham last week, both parties are prepared to wait out the remaining three weeks of domestic football prior to the World Cup before firm decisions are made.

United play two Europa League games against Sheriff and Real Sociedad, three Premier League matches against West Ham, Aston Villa and Fulham and a League Cup tie - also against Villa - before Ronaldo is set to travel to Qatar with the Portugal national team in mid-November. United have a number of other first team players who are expected to take part at the tournament.

It's expected that Ronaldo will return to the United fold - if it's agreed with Ten Hag following the fall out - and play a squad role before the tournament begins, though the pair are expected to meet at Carrington to plan out Ronaldo's involvement - or lack thereof - in the coming weeks.

Ronaldo is United's highest earner but out of contract at the end of this season, and it's nigh-on certain that he will depart the club at some point in 2023.


Scott Saunders hosts Graeme Bailey and Toby Cudworth in the latest episode of Talking Transfers. The team discuss Cristiano Ronaldo's Man Utd future, interest in Naby Keita and a decision looming for Harry Kane. Available on all audio platforms.

If you can't see the podcast embed, click here to download the episode in full!


United would consider releasing the player on a free transfer ahead of the January transfer window but this isn't seen as an ideal option, as it would come at great expense even if the departure was mutually agreed. United are also already short in up front, and losing Ronaldo would leave them with limited options in that department.

Ten Hag would like the club to move on from Ronaldo in an ideal scenario - 90min reported a number of weeks ago he was becoming irritated with the Portuguese being the centre of attention whether playing or not - and the best option for the club remains to find a buyer capable of taking over his contract. A strong showing from Ronaldo at the World Cup could increase interest.

If Ronaldo were to leave, however, it's understood Ten Hag would require another forward to be signed.

PSV's Cody Gakpo, who is represented by the same agents as Ten Hag himself, is considered a strong 'plug and play' option by Ten Hag, who has had a strong hit rate so far with signings he pushed to join United in the summer. Antony and Lisandro Martinez in particular have proven early successes with the club's fans.

Gakpo has enjoyed a remarkable season for PSV so far, with nine goals and nine assists in 11 Eredivisie games so far.

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