Ralf Rangnick has revealed that recruitment will be the main focus of his new consultancy role at Manchester United, as he explained the need to find and develop “future top star players” such as Erling Haaland.
The 63-year-old is set to fail in his aim to lead the stuttering club to Champions League qualification but still hopes to leave a lasting legacy at Old Trafford.
Rangnick will transition from interim United boss to a consultancy role this summer – a job that will work in tandem with his new role as manager of the Austrian national team.
The German has an impressive track record of developing teams, having recently been successful with RB Leipzig and sister club RB Salzburg, and believes transfers are key to providing new boss Erik ten Hag with that platform to succeed.
“For me, the biggest thing is recruiting now,” Rangnick said when asked what he was going to advise on.
“That, for me, is the most vital point, that we bring the best players we can and talk about it, who could it be.
“It’s not just about identifying these players, it’s about meeting them, convincing them to join this club, even if we won’t be playing in the Champions League.
“That’s what I consider most important. Again, also, in terms of the most talented players in the academy, identifying those types of players.”
He would be one of those examples where I think the focus should be on identifying and finding players who could be Manchester United players in the next couple of years.
Asked if United could go back to buying players at the peak of their powers, Rangnick said: “My personal opinion is that the club should try to find better future star players and develop them.
“Again, on the other hand, just tell me five players who could be among those players you talked about.”
When Haaland and Kylan Mbappe were upset, Rangnick said: “Haaland is a young player. He’s 21 or 22. He’s one of those players I talked about.
“But, on the other hand, over the last two years he has become one of probably the most expensive strikers in the world.
“But, yes he could be, he would be one of those examples that I think the focus should be on trying to identify and find and then convince players who could be Manchester players. United for the next two years.”
Rangnick reveals new criteria for Man Utd signings
Rangnick believes United’s support, stadium and training facilities still make them an attractive proposition, regardless of Champions League qualification.
But with that vision also comes a dose of realism given that rivals Manchester City and Liverpool are flying high, with the club targeting the “full package” of “mentality, quality, physique, pace, skill” in new players.
Rangnick says it’s obvious the squad need additions given their struggles and the players leaving, with Monday’s game against Brentford looking like a farewell to Old Trafford for Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata and Nemanja Matic in end of contract.
“I would love to (play them) but it’s also about getting the best possible result and the best possible performance,” he said. “It’s not about giving gifts to the players.
“Juan Mata played the last 15 minutes, Nema almost the whole game, so it’s not about saying goodbye to the fans.
“If it’s possible, I would do it or I would like to do it, but it’s also about getting the best possible result.”
Rangnick will hope Fred will be back for Monday’s game and captain Harry Maguire could return, while Edinson Cavani – another out of contract this summer – was due to return to training on Friday.
But the 63-year-old says Jadon Sancho will be out against Brentford and ‘could be out for the rest of the season with his tonsillitis’.
When asked if Sancho had his tonsils, Rangnick added: “It could happen.
“He definitely has tonsil inflammation and also had high temperatures which is why he was unavailable (against Chelsea) and he will definitely not be available for the next two games.
“Hopefully they can get hold of that inflammation and then if the tonsils have to be taken out and taken out, it can happen at the end of the season.”