Wayne Rooney thinks Manchester United need to recruit a raft of hungry players with potential – rather than splashing out hundreds of millions of expensive marquee signings.
United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has a major rebuilding job on his hands at Old Trafford following a dismal 2018/19 campaign. A near £18m deal for Swansea’s Dan James looks close – but efforts to land Bruno Fernandes may be over due to Ed Woodward’s procrastinating.
The 13-time Premier League champions, who recruited Solskjaer after sacking Jose Mourinho in December, finished sixth and failed to qualify for the Champions League.
“For Ole, I think the first thing he’s got to do is try and build the squad,” Rooney told BBC Radio Five Live’s Sportsweek programme.
“I don’t think bringing one or two players in for over £100million is going to really help with the squad and the players who are there.
“I think he needs to try and look at maybe five or six players who have got potential to be top players but you’re not spending £120, £130million on these players.
“I think you spend £30million, £40million and then try to improve them, which will also give you longevity out of the players and allow you to build a squad around the five or six new players that come in, plus a few of the players who are still there.
“You could bring (Cristiano) Ronaldo, Sergio Ramos and (Lionel) Messi in, or Gareth Bale for instance, and it’s going to cost you £300, £350million (for) which you’d get what? Maybe two years out of Ronaldo, a couple of years out of Ramos and then you’ve written that money off.”
United have not won the title since the final season of Sir Alex Ferguson’s reign in 2013.
Rooney, who scored a record 253 goals for United and now plays in the MLS for DC United, believes the club’s fans will remain patient during a transitional phase under Solskjaer.
“I just think the club needs to rebuild with younger players. But they need to be good enough and allow the manager to improve them,” he said.
“And I think the Man United fans will understand that they are probably not going to compete for the Premier League next year.
“So let them have that time, let Ole have that time to build a team for the next two or three years who are going to compete, not only at Premier League level, but at Champions League level.”
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