Watch: Wayne Rooney admits Man Utd signing Ronaldo was a mistake

Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo walks off after defeat against Atletico Madrid at Old Trafford Manchester, March 2022.

Wayne Rooney has admitted Manchester United’s summer signing of former team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo from Juventus hasn’t worked.

One of the all-time greats looked set to join Manchester City before United swooped in at the final hour to re-sign the five-time Ballon d’Or winner alongside Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane in what appeared a successful transfer window on paper.

Ronaldo has netted 18 times for the Red Devils in 33 outings, but his return to Old Trafford hasn’t inspired the club to a title challenge, which many thought his arrival would lead the club to under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at the start of the season.

Instead, during Ralf Rangnick’s interim reign following the Norwegian’s sacking in November, questions have been consistently asked about whether the Portugal international is suited to the high press style the 63-year-old has attempted to implement in Manchester.

Ronaldo missed the weekend’s home draw against Leicester City due to illness, but despite United failing to pick up three points, it’s hard to argue that his presence would have made much of a difference to the result. United now look extremely unlikely to earn a top-four finish.

England’s record goalscorer believes United must look beyond Ronaldo for their future plans as the move hasn’t gone to plan.

“You’d have to say no [it’s not worked] at the minute,” Rooney said speaking on Monday Night Football.

“He’s scored important goals in the Champions League early on in the season – and the hat-trick against Tottenham.

“If you’re looking to the future of the club, you have to go with younger, hungry players to lift Manchester United over these next two or three years.

“He [Ronaldo] isn’t the player he was in his 20s. He’s a goal threat but [in] the rest of the game they need more, and they need young, hungry players.”

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