Rangnick says United’s recruitment policy should target ‘future top players’

Ralf Rangnick believes Manchester United’s recruitment policy should target “future top players” such as Erling Haaland, though he called for realism given competition from Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City.

Erik ten Hag will take over as the manager in the close season, when Rangnick’s role is to change from being the interim manager to a consultant who will help identify transfer targets. He has also been confirmed as manager of the Austrian national team

“My opinion is the club should try to find future top players and try to develop them,” he said. “Haaland is 21; this is one of those players. He has developed into one of the most expensive strikers in the world. He would be one of those examples I think the emphasis should be on: that we should try and convince players who should be Manchester United players for the next years.”

United’s 1-1 draw with Chelsea on Thursday leaves them sixth, five behind fourth-placed Arsenal, who have two games in hand. This means Champions League qualification is remote, and with United also having failed to challenge for the title for nine years, Rangnick was asked whether emerging high-class footballers would wish to join.

He said: “As a club with these supporters, the stadium, quality of training ground, I would say yes, but as soon as other clubs like Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City are involved you need some good reasons. Someone needs to explain to the players and that is why it is important what Erik thinks.

“I know from Jurgen [Klopp, Liverpool’s manager] and Thomas [Tuchel, Chelsea’s manager] that if they want players they talk to them and the same is probably true of Pep [Guardiola at City]: he speaks to them and finds out about their mentality and character and if they are the right fit.”

Rangnick offered clarification of his consultancy position.

“For me the most important bit is recruitment, that we bring in the best possible players. It is not only identifying but meeting them, convincing them to join the club even though we will not play in Champions League. In regards to top players from the academy: identify them.”

The 63-year-old’s appointment as Austria coach was confirmed on Friday. He will have his Austria deal extended by two years if the team qualify for Euro 2024. He starts that role at the end of May, once his period as United’s interim manager is over.

Jadon Sancho may be ruled out for the last three games because of tonsillitis, Rangnick added.

– Guardian

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