United previously tried to sign Bellingham from Birmingham City in 2020 only for the teenager to choose a move to Borussia Dortmund where he has established himself as one of the best young midfielders in the game.
Recent reports have suggested United have revived their interest in the 19-year-old, who will be part of the England side at the World Cup in Qatar.
They will face intense competition from a number of clubs however with Liverpool, Manchester City and Real Madrid among those eager to sign him next summer.
But Rooney hopes United can force their way to the top of the queue, describing Bellingham as a player his old side ‘could really do with’.
Asked whether United should be targeting the England starlet, Rooney told talkSPORT: ‘I hope so! I hope he doesn’t go to Liverpool or [Manchester] City!
‘But I’m sure they’re doing their work, he’s probably the hottest youngster in world football at the minute.
‘I’m sure United are looking at that as well, I know they tried to get him a couple of years ago, so I’d hope so. He’s a player that United could really do with at the minute.’
Rooney also recalled the moment he knew Bellingham was destined for big things, with the youngster ‘leaving a stud on him’ while the DC United manager was playing for Derby in the Championship.
‘I played against Bellingham when he was at Birmingham and I was at Derby. And he actually man-marked me during the game, I think he was about 16, maybe just 17, and what I really liked about him is every time I passed the ball off, he’d leave a stud in on me.
‘And I remember thinking, ‘he’s got something about him’, and just to show the character to go out to Germany and take that league by storm.
‘That mentality to perform, obviously he’s been captain in quite a few of the games as well, he’s going to be a huge player for England.
‘Just that mentality, even though he’s young, he can put some of that character into some of the rest of the squad in my eyes.’
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