Wayne Rooney has suggested that Manchester United placing in the top four would be a pointless endeavour, as they will not be able to compete in next season’s Champions League.
The Red Devils have become underdogs and have finished fourth this season. With their home game against Leicester, they are four points behind the coveted Champions League spot.
But Rooney isn’t too upset about his former side’s chances as he believes they wouldn’t be able to match Europe’s best anyway, adding that Ralf Rangnick’s men want the current season over now is.
“I think they would want the season to end now if they could and forget about the Champions League,” Rooney told Sky Sports Monday Night Football.
“They won’t play in the Champions League next year if they qualify.
“I think they need to rebuild the squad, everything around the first team, around the club, to make sure they put themselves in a position where they can actually challenge in the Premier League in two to three years. “
It’s a big summer for the club, with top executives tasked with hiring a new permanent manager, with Ralf Rangnick set to take on his adviser role.
Reports suggest Ajax boss Erik ten Hag will get the job, however Rooney believes former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino is a better option.
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“I think Pochettino made it in the Premier League, he knows the Premier League,” Rooney added. “He brought through a lot of top players at Tottenham and also at Southampton.
“If I choose one of them, I’ll go to Pochettino and give him time. Nowadays managers need time to get their blueprint for the club. If you give him time, I think he’ll do well.”
“Pochettino is a top manager in my opinion,” Rooney added. “He knows how to work with high quality players but also with young players and they have to get that mix right because they can’t afford to fail again.”
There must also be personnel changes among the players, says Rooney, who wants to give the young players more chances.
And despite Pochettino’s ability to work alongside world-class players, Rooney thinks it’s time the club parted ways with one of their most gifted stars in Paul Pogba.
“I think it’s probably gotten to a point where it’s better for him to move on,” Rooney said. “I think if Paul is honest with himself he hasn’t had the impact he would have liked since returning to Manchester United.
“I see him play for France and it’s a very different player. The ability, his vision, the control of the game are there in every game for France and it just didn’t work for him at Manchester United.
“There are a few players they really need to let go of.”
Pogba is set to leave anyway as his contract expires in the summer but Rooney’s former Red Devils team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo has another year left on his contract.
Ronaldo has scored 18 goals for Man United this season but Rooney is not convinced of the 37-year-old Portuguese’s impact.
Asked if signing Ronaldo for Man United worked, Rooney said: ‘You’d have to say no at the moment.
“He’s scored goals, important goals in the Champions League earlier this season and the hat-trick against Tottenham.
“But I think when you look to the future of the club you have to go with younger, hungry players to do their best to lift Manchester United in those two to three years.”
A number of Man United players have endured poor form this season, none more so than Harry Maguire who has taken a slew of criticism this season.
But Rooney thinks there’s a good player out there, adding that a lot of Maguire’s struggles this season have come from confidence.
“I like Harry. I know Harry personally,” Rooney said. “He hasn’t been at his best this season, as a lot of players haven’t.
“Then you look at him for England, he looks like a world-class centre-back.
“A lot of that is confidence. Players need to feel like they’re winning again, feel like they’re winning consistently, to regain that confidence. If they do, I think Harry Maguire has a big part to play in that.”
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https://talksport.com/football/1079592/ronaldo-pogba-pochetttino-forget-champions-league-wayne-rooney-man-utd/ Cristiano Ronaldo signs ‘didn’t work’, let Paul Pogba go, hire Mauricio Pochetttino and ‘forgot the Champions League’