Wayne Rooney has pushed his former team to recruit a new No. 9 to replace the Portuguese superstar, saying that Manchester United should let Cristiano Ronaldo depart the club this summer.
Ronaldo submitted a transfer request last month and was absent for the duration of United’s preseason training.
The 37-year-old made his first appearance under Erik ten Hag in last week’s draw with Rayo Vallecano. He still has one year left on his current contract at Old Trafford.
But after a heated exchange with Ten Hag on the sidelines, he was taken out at halftime and was later seen leaving the game early, behavior that his Dutch manager deemed “inappropriate.”
Rooney, a former United teammate of Ronaldo, thinks the time has come for the five-time Ballon d’Or winner to leave Old Trafford.
In his The Times column, Rooney stated, “I believe United should let Cristiano Ronaldo go.”
Not that Ronaldo is incapable of playing for a Ten Hag squad. He is able to join any team. You can always count on Ronny to score. However, in my opinion, United aren’t ready to contend for the championship right now, so the goal must be to develop a club that can win the league in the following three to four years, and you must make plans for that.
If the rumors that Cristiano wants to leave the squad are accurate, United should let him depart so they can replace him with a No. 9 who will stay for the next three to four years and actually help them develop a competitive team. Ten Hag needs time to complete it.
Gary Neville, a former United captain, agreed with Rooney that the team should let Ronaldo depart this summer rather than risk having rumors about his future cloud Ten Hag’s first year at Old Trafford.
Neville said on Sky Bet’s The Overlap, “Ronaldo’s exploits in football have gone beyond everything that anybody could have asked for and envisaged.
He always will be remembered as one of the greatest footballers of all time. In 20 years, Manchester United’s summer activities will be forgotten.
But as a former Manchester United captain, I find it unpleasant to observe because I feel that the star player in the locker room is currently acting out.
“Over the past few years, it has occasionally happened that [Paul] Pogba’s agent — not necessarily Pogba — would constantly act out.
“You can’t let your star player run the show for a team. It is not yours. Therefore, when Sir Alex Ferguson transferred players in the past, it was because that player needed to be transferred.
“Fans of Manchester United want Ronaldo to stay, I know that. But in my opinion, Manchester United should make it easier for Ronaldo to leave if he wants to.”
Ronaldo’s participation for United in their first Premier League match of the year against Brighton on Sunday is unclear.
However, coach Ten Hag claims he is pleased that Ronaldo is still a member of his team.
“How do I feel about Ronaldo starting the season? I’m overjoyed “”Ten Hag” said.
“We made plans for the season with him, as I had previously stated. We have a talented striker, and I’m glad to see that he is part of the team and that we keep to the game plan.”