Manchester United have accepted a world record transfer offer for Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid on Thursday, clearing the World Player of the Year to negotiate personal terms with the Spanish club.
It now appears that the Portugal winger has played his last game in a Manchester United shirt.
The Premier League champions received an unconditional offer of 80 million pounds ($131 million) for Ronaldo, and unlike in the last offseason manager Alex Ferguson told the Glazer family which owns the club that he is willing to see his 24-year-old star performer join a major European rival.
United said: "At Cristiano's request -- who has again expressed his desire to leave -- and after discussion with the player's representatives, United have agreed to give Real Madrid permission to talk to the player.
"Matters are expected to be concluded by 30 June."
Madrid confirmed the offer for Ronaldo in a statement, saying: "The club hopes to reach an agreement with the player in the coming days."
The Portugal winger, who joined from Sporting Lisbon in 2003, spent last June pushing for what he called at the time a "dream move" to Madrid.
An unsuccessful complaint about Madrid's pursuit was made to football's world governing body FIFA and a move was blocked by United manager Alex Ferguson, who traveled to Lisbon to persuade his player to stay at Old Trafford.
That didn't stop Ronaldo being linked with Madrid and Ferguson's irritation boiled over in December when he said he "wouldn't sell Madrid a virus," describing the club as a "mob."
But now a world-record bid -- even if it means losing those feints, stepovers and thunderous free kicks -- appears too hard to resist.
Written by Danny Watson, a professional sports writer who blogs about football news.