Rooney's displays for United have been criticised after Jose Mourinho's men went on a three-match losing run, ended with a victory over Northampton Town.
Ranieri was full of praise for the England international ahead of the Premier League meeting between the clubs at Old Trafford on Saturday.
However, the Italian said he preferred the players he had at his disposal ahead of Rooney.
"He is an amazing player. He's a champion," Ranieri told UK newspapers. "I love my players, and I wouldn't change my players with anybody else. I'm very pleased with them and we think we can have a very good season."
United sit seventh in the table ahead of the visit of Leicester, who are 11th in their title defence.
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