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Man Utd need to rebuild without Ronaldo “distraction”, Rooney says

"Dani Alves & Cristiano Ronaldo" by Nathan Congleton is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

The Portuguese superstar has struggled for minutes under Erik ten Hag this season.

Wayne Rooney believes Manchester United would benefit from offloading Cristiano Ronaldo from their squad.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has found a difficult start to the new season under Erik ten Hag. 

Following a controversy over Ronaldo’s refusal to come in as a late substitute against Tottenham last month, Ten Hag has returned the 37-year-old to his lineup recently.

However, Rooney believes his former teammate’s presence at Old Trafford doesn’t contribute to the club’s overall objectives under Ten Hag.

“I don’t think they’re a better team with him in the side. I just think the things he has done since the start of the season are not acceptable for Manchester United,” Rooney told talkSPORT.

“We’ve seen Roy Keane defending him, Roy wouldn’t have accepted that at all. It’s a distraction that Manchester United don’t need at the minute, it’s time to rebuild.

“Cristiano needs to get his head down and work, be ready to play when the manager needs him. If he does that, he’ll be an asset. If he doesn’t, I think it will be an unwanted distraction.”

Despite his return to United’s lineup, Ronaldo’s future is still unclear ahead of the January transfer window. 

According to widespread reports in English media, CR7 will make a decision on his next move after the World Cup.