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United have endured a miserable season and failed in their bid to challenge for the Premier League title, despite heavily reinforcing last summer with the additions of Ronaldo, Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked by United after a poor run of form and Ralf Rangnick has been appointed interim manager until the end of the season.
And United currently languish in seventh place in the league table under Rangnick, with the Red Devils six points adrift from the top four.
Ronaldo, who was signed in a £12.9m deal from Juventus, showed his elite mentality when he insisted that he doesn’t “accept less than the top three” for United.
Speaking to Premier League Productions, the five-time Ballon d'Or winner said: “Manchester United should win the league or be second or third.
“I don’t see other positions for Manchester United, to be honest, I don’t see.
“In my eyes, I don't accept that our mentality be less than to be in the top three in the Premier League.”
Rooney played alongside the 36-year-old Portuguese superstar at United and the pair enjoyed incredible success under legendary former manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
United and England’s all-time record scorer left Old Trafford in 2017 and went on to play for Everton in a second spell and for the likes of DC United and Derby County.
Rooney announced his retirement from football in 2021 and was appointed as the permanent Derby manager, having previously been a player-coach for the club.
And the 36-year-old former striker has now addressed Ronaldo’s comments and reminded him of the “demands” that United and the fans expect at Old Trafford.
“Manchester United have to be a top-one team, not top-three,” Rooney told a Derby press conference.
“That's the demands which the fans put on you, the demands that the club has.
“Of course, they're going through a difficult period but, make no mistake, that's a club that has to be winning championships. It has to be winning trophies and that's the pressure with coming and playing or working for Manchester United.
“That's the level they need to be back to. I'm sure they'll do the right things to get them back to that place.”
United will travel to Villa Park on Saturday for their Premier League clash with Aston Villa.
Featured Image Credit: Sky Sports' Twitter/PA
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