Manchester United will not block Cristiano Ronaldo from leaving Old Trafford in the summer if the striker asks for a transfer.
Now 37, Ronaldo returned to United in the hope of competing for more silverware but has found the team in turmoil, with the Red Devils focused on a top-four battle once again while a new permanent manager is found.
There have been plenty of suggestions that Ronaldo is unhappy with life back in Manchester and is ready to walk away from the club for the second time in the summer, and according to The Mirror, United are not prepared to stand in his way.
It is claimed that those inside Old Trafford have accepted that bringing Ronaldo back from Juventus in the summer was a mistake and largely a panicked response to reported interest from rivals Manchester City.
On the highest wage in the Premier League, Ronaldo would need help from United to leave the club at the end of the season and it is believed that the club would do what they can to facilitate his exit if the 37-year-old specifically asks to go.
There is no clause in Ronaldo's contract, which still has 18 months left to run and contains an option for an extra season, that would allow him to seek an exit if United miss out on Champions League football, so he would have to request a transfer just like anybody else.
It is stressed that United are not planning to offload Ronaldo, who they still see as an asset both on the pitch and commercially, but they accept that it will be impossible to keep the veteran striker if he becomes unhappy.
Interim boss Ralf Rangnick has already confirmed that United plan to look for a new striker in the summer. Edinson Cavani's contract will expire, Anthony Martial is reluctant to return after leaving for Sevilla on loan and Mason Greenwood's future in the game is unclear following his arrest on serious assault charges.
Offloading Ronaldo would go a long way to helping finance a move for a younger striker, but finding another club willing to meet his wage demands is an entirely different matter.
One of the few options available are Paris Saint-Germain, who 90min understands are exploring the possibility of a summer bid.