Cristiano Ronaldo could end up being an “unwelcome distraction” at Manchester United, according to Wayne Rooney.
In an interview with talkSPORT, Rooney insisted that his former teammate’s actions this season had been unacceptable and a distraction.
In October, Ronaldo stormed out of United’s match against Tottenham before the final whistle after being left on the substitute’s bench.
Since Erik ten Hag took over as manager in the summer, the 37-year-old has committed other acts of petulance.
Roy Keane, a former United captain, is one of those defending Ronaldo and adamantly stating that he comprehends his frustrations.
But according to Rooney, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner must accept his position under Ten Hag.
When asked on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast if Ronaldo makes Manchester United a better team, Rooney replied: “No, I don’t think so.
“Him and Messi are arguably the two best players of all-time and you can go either way with that, whatever way you decide.
“But I just think the things he has done from the start of the season, it is not acceptable for Manchester United. I’ve seen Roy Keane defending him. Roy wouldn’t accept that. Roy wouldn’t accept that at all.
“It is a distraction which Manchester United don’t need at the minute, trying to rebuild.
“For Cristiano, just get your head down and work and be ready to play when the manager needs you. If he does that, he will be an asset. If he doesn’t, it will become an unwanted distraction.”
Following his Tottenham walk-out, Ronaldo was benched by Ten Hag for the October match against Chelsea.
Wayne Rooney praises Erik ten Hag for changing the mood at Old Trafford
Rooney believes the Dutchman is doing a good job at United and has been impressed by how he has handled the situation.
The five-time Premier League champion and United’s all-time leading scorer still maintains close ties to the organization and asserts that Ten Hag has changed the atmosphere at Old Trafford.
“I think Ten Hag has done really well,” he told talkSPORT Breakfast.
“He’s come in and stamped his authority on the team, and for the first time in about two or three years I’m starting to see an identity with Manchester United which I haven’t seen in the last two of three years.
“He’s shown his strength and his character with how he dealt with Cristiano [Ronaldo] at times with the stuff he’s been up to.
“He’s the right man for the job. I think it will take time but it’s a real step in the right direction to finish in that top four and get Champions League football again.”
When asked if he’d spoken much to the new Red Devils boss, Rooney said: “To be honest, I haven’t met him.
“I had Steve McClaren at Derby [whose gone to Manchester United] who I know well and has gone in there, and I’m very close with Darren Fletcher so I know what he’s doing and how he’s going about his work.
“I know the players and staff are a lot happier than they have been over the last couple of years.”