Cristiano Ronaldo has seemingly hit back at Wayne Rooney after the Derby County manager suggested the forward’s return to Manchester United had not paid off.
The Portuguese captain has scored 18 goals in 33 games in all competitions since his return from Old Trafford, reaching a goal every 148 minutes, but United are out of all competitions and finished seventh in the Premier League.
That has led to questions about Ralf Rangnick’s skills, who will replace him at the end of the season, and United’s transfer.
Rooney, speaking at Sky Sports on Monday night, concluded that Paul Pogba should go ahead and agree with teammate commentator Jamie Carragher that Ronaldo’s return was a mistake.
“You have to refuse right now,” he said when asked if Ronaldo’s transfer had worked. “He’s a goal scorer, but his remaining game, I think they need more. I think they need younger, more hungry players.
“He scored a hat-trick against Tottenham, but I think if you look at the future of the club, you have to go with the hungry young players to promote Manchester United in the next two or three years.
“Obviously Cristiano is getting slower and slower. He’s not really the player he was when he was 20, and that’s what happens, football.”
Rooney later posted a picture of himself on Instagram on the show, and Ronaldo was seen expressing his views.
“They are two jealous,” he replied in a message to his former teammate Rooney, who played with him during his first game for United, possibly referring to the words placed next to Carragher.
United will be hoping Ronaldo can calm his critics when they visit the struggling Everton side on Saturday.