Reports out of England on Tuesday confirmed that Cristiano Ronaldo and Manchester United have agreed to mutually part ways, leaving among the world's most recognizable footballers on the open market.

Manchester United announces its split from legendary forward Christiano Ronaldo. Ronaldo played for the club on two separate occasions, resigning over the summer.

The split comes just a week after Ronaldo's fiery interview with Piers Morgan. The disgruntled Portugal star, who is in Qatar for the World Cup, had publicly criticized the club's manager, Erik ten Hag. Ronaldo even lashed out at the Glazers, the American family that owns United, and former teammates Gary Neville and Wayne Rooney.

Manchester United thanked Ronaldo in a statement, referencing his two stints with the club.

"The club thanks him for his immense contribution across two spells at Old Trafford, scoring 145 goals in 346 appearances, and wishes him and his family well for the future," the statement said.

Ronaldo, 37, is in Qatar, as Portugal gets ready to face Ghana to begin group play.

Ronaldo's departure will kick off a high-stakes bidding war in the January transfer window. He is expected to field interest from several clubs, including Chelsea, Arsenal, and his former club Real Madrid. Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich are also in the mix, as are Sporting Lisbon, his boyhood club. Spanish publication Marca noted that Atletico Madrid and Napoli are also in contention for Ronaldo.

There has also been speculation that Major League Soccer clubs Inter Miami, LA Galaxy, and LAFC could sign Ronaldo. The league starts the season in late February so it would mean an extended layoff after the World Cup.

Ronaldo has addressed a potential jump to the U.S. before, most notably in 2016. In an interview with GQ, he said: "Maybe in the future will be a good chance for me to play there. You never know, but it's something interesting. I consider it, of course, because as I've said, soccer there has become better and better, so why not? I think that this is maybe going to be possible."

The move to the U.S., while bold, would not be unprecedented for a player of Ronaldo's caliber. Some of soccer's biggest stars have made the voyage to MLS. David Beckham, Thierry Henry, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Wayne Rooney all enjoyed success in the league.

A return to Real Madrid is also on the table for Ronaldo, as the untimely injury of French forward Karim Benzema has created an important opening. Los Blancos are currently in second place in La Liga and trail rivals Barcelona.

Despite the long list of suitors, the favorites to sign Ronaldo are probably Chelsea.

New owner Todd Boehly has had Ronaldo on his radar for months and was thought to be a target in the summer. Now that Ronaldo has become immediately available, the expectation is that the London club will make a strong bid as they remain hopeful of a Champions League berth.