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Wayne Rooney: Man Utd should allow Cristiano Ronaldo to leave

Wayne Rooney believes Manchester United should allow his former team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo to leave the club in the transfer window.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Manchester United v Brighton & Hove Albion - Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain - August 7, 2022  Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo reacts after their first goal REUTERS/Toby Melville EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club /league/player publications.  Please contact your account representative for further details.

Manchester United’s all-time leading scorer Wayne Rooney has advised the club to allow Cristiano Ronaldo to leave before the transfer deadline.

Portugal international Ronaldo is widely reported to be pushing for an exit from Old Trafford due to his desire to continue playing in the Champions League, though suitors have not emerged for his services.

Ronaldo missed the club’s pre-season tour of Australia and the Far East due to personal reasons, with his pre-season action limited to just 45 minutes in a friendly against Rayo Vallecano last week.

In the build-up to United’s Premier League opener against Brighton and Hove Albion, a lot of the talk has focused on Ronaldo’s future and Rooney believes the right move would be for the club to approve an exit.

“I think United should let Cristiano Ronaldo go,” he wrote in the Times.

“It’s not that Ronaldo can’t play in a Ten Hag team. He can play in any team. Ronny will always score you goals.

“But my personal view is that United aren’t ready to challenge for the title now, so the aim has to be to build a team that can win the league in the next three to four years, and you have to plan for that.

“If the reports are true that Cristiano wants to leave the club, then United should allow him to go and get a number nine in who is going to be there for the next three or four years and really help them build a team that can be successful. Ten Hag has to be given time to do it.”

Ten Hag “happy” with Ronaldo

New United manager Erik ten Hag insisted he is “really happy” to have Ronaldo in his squad, making it clear his preference would be for the experienced forward to remain.

“I am really happy he is here. We have a top striker. We stick to the plan,” he said in a news conference.