Manchester United have been issued a strong warning over targeting the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale to remedy their current crisis.
Rooney feels United should resist the temptation to target world superstars such as Ronaldo or Bale because he fears it hinder the club in the long-term.
The Red Devils are in the early stages of a new era under the leadership of manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and have been linked with a host of superstars since the end of the dissapointing 2018/19 season.
Having failed to qualify for the UEFA Champions League, the 20-time Premier League champions are eager to invest in new playing personell to bridge the gap between domestic rivals Manchester City and Liverpool.
"For Ole, the first thing he's got to do is try and build the squad. I don't think bringing one or two players in for over £100million is going to really help with the squad and with the players who are there," Rooney told BBC Five Live's Sportsweek show.
"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 £120-130m on these players.
"I think you're spending £30-40m and then you're trying 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 who come in plus a few of the players who are still there.
"You could bring three players in - you could bring in Ronaldo, Sergio Ramos and [Lionel] Messi, or Gareth Bale for instance - and it's going to cost you £300-350m.
"You'd get maybe two years out of Ronaldo, a couple of years out of Ramos and then you've written that money off.
"The club needs to rebuild with younger players. But obviously they need to be good enough and allow the managers to improve them."
The former England captain added: "I think the Man United fans will understand they're 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."