Wayne Rooney has advised Cristiano Ronaldo to bide his time at Manchester United but has warned him that ‘time catches up with us all’.
The 37-year-old attempted to leave Old Trafford in the summer, less than 12 months after his homecoming ended in abject failure as United endured a poor season that culminated in a number of embarrassing defeats.
The likes of Bayern and Chelsea contemplated signing Ronaldo during the close season but opted against signing a player who appears to be suffering a sharp decline.
Ronaldo has been reduced to a bit part role since the appointment of Erik ten Hag with his only starts since August coming in the UEFA Europa League.
The former Real Madrid attacker was left on the bench during last weekend’s 6-3 defeat at Manchester City ‘out of respect’ according to his manager, but reports on Friday claim there has been a serious falling out between them.
Ronaldo is said to be unhappy with his manager’s stubborness and lack of flexibility while, privately, Ten Hag would not be against a sale in January if a deal can be struck with any interested club.
Rooney, who enjoyed five trophy-laden years playing alongside Ronaldo at United, was asked about the ongoing speculation and advised the striker to remain patient.
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He said: ‘The manager’s obviously gone a different way in terms of how they’re playing and been successful,’ the DC United manager told reporters on Friday.
‘Cristiano … him and (Lionel) Messi are two of the greatest players to ever play the game, but ultimately time catches up with us all.
‘He’s obviously not the player he was when he was 22 or 23, for instance. It’s a tough one for him.
‘Knowing him, it’ll be very difficult for him to sit on the bench… I’m sure if he stays patient, his chance will come and, again, it’s then obviously him taking those chances and trying to force his way back in.’