‘You cannot make any more transfer market mistakes’

Ralf Rangnick has warned the Manchester United hierarchy that they cannot afford to make any more mistakes in the transfer marker if they are to ever catch up with rivals Man City and Liverpool.

The United interim manager takes his side to the Etihad for Sunday’s derby, with City battling Jurgen Klopp’s team for the title once more and a fourth-place finish looking an increasingly tall order for Rangnick’s men.

It marks a dramatic decline for United, last champions in Sir Alex Ferguson’s final season in 2013.

And Rangnick is in no doubt that his club’s transfer record leaves much to be desired in comparison to that of City and Liverpool.

“Having a clear transfer strategy, signing players who fit into that system; that’s what both clubs have been doing in the last five or six years,” said Rangnick.

“If I look at their transfer policy and their transfer success they haven’t had many players who after one or two years people would have said maybe that wasn’t the right signing.

“Both clubs have been pretty successful and this is where Manchester United have to go again.”

Within the last five years, United have made poor investments in Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez, Donny van de Beek and Dan James.

There have also been major question marks over the inflated prices paid for stars such as Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Fred and Jadon Sancho, while the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo last summer can hardly be described as an unqualified success.

And while the lack of continuity in the manager’s office has clearly been a factor, Rangnick, who is poised to remain at Old Trafford in a consultancy role this summer, has stressed that they cannot afford to repeat such poor business decisions.

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“Under Sir Alex they were there, but since then there have been quite a few different managers,” said Rangnick. “And in order to close the gap to those two clubs I wouldn’t say we have to do the same thing, we have our own identity as a club, who should always go their own pathway.

“But professional football is pretty easy, you have to have an identity how you want to play, even how the supporters want to see us play, and this has always been attractive, offensive, proactive football; entertainment football.

“And then from there make sure the recruitment is right, you have to be quick enough, fast enough in the transfer market, knowing the transfer market and signing the right players in the right moment.

“On top of that, you need the best possible manager and coaching staff who can develop players.”

With United facing a busy summer of appointing not only a new manager but also conducting extensive transfer activity, Rangnick believes the final three months of the current campaign offer players the chance to stake their claims for a future at Old Trafford.

“Of course it should be the case in professional football all the time,” he said. “Players should know they have to perform to play, or for a new contract – or to be kept in the club. That should be the case all the time in professional football.

“Now for us it’s about getting the best out of this current squad. I can assure you the atmosphere in the locker room, the focus on training, we have no issues.

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“All that about outside noises, about players not being focused in training, is not correct. They get on well with each other, they have a full focus in every session.

“It’s about – with our kind of football, with the areas we have improved – getting the best possible result in the coming games.”


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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