12:55 PM PT -- CR7 just addressed the news ... confirming it was a mutual decision.
"I love Manchester United and I love the fans, that will never change," Ronaldo said. "However, it feels like the right time for me to seek a new challenge."
"I wish the team every success for the remainder of the season and for the future."
Cristiano Ronaldo's time in Old Trafford is over -- the soccer superstar and Manchester United have decided to part ways effective immediately.
Man U announced the move just minutes ago ... saying, "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."