Ralf Rangnick warns Erik ten Hag about size of Man Utd rebuild

Ralf Rangnick previews Liverpool v Man Utd

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Ralf Rangnick has warned his successor that Manchester United need to “improve the squad in all areas” apart from goalkeeping this summer. Erik ten Hag is poised to take over the reins from Rangnick at the end of the season and will inherit a major rebuilding job at Old Trafford.

Ten Hag has a verbal agreement with United to take over on a four-year contract once the season is finished with Ajax. The 52-year-old Dutchman is already planning for the 2022/23 campaign with United, with Ajax assistant Mitchell van der Gaag set to join him in Manchester, while former United striker Robin van Persie has also been sounded out.

While Ten Hag is formulating his coaching staff, he will also have a say in United’s transfer activity this summer. The club are expected to be extremely busy in the transfer window, with Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard and Edinson Cavani out of contract and doubts hanging over several others.

Rangnick has been in interim charge of the club since replacing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in November and is poised to move into a consultancy role once Ten Hag arrives. He is under no illusions just how difficult the task will be for his successor, with improvements needed right across the board.

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“Yes, I think apart from the goalkeeping, we need to make sure that we improve the squad in all areas,” he told Sky Sports when asked about the summer recruitment strategy. “To bring in players who really help the team to get better – again, it’s about the profile. What kind of players do we need in order to play whichever kind of football we want to play?”

Ten Hag is understood to have received assurances from United that he will have a say in summer transfer activity. However, Rangnick also revealed that he has already recommended some players to the United hierarchy, which is led by football director John Murtough.

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“The players have to give their very best no matter who the next manager will be, and if he’s announced in one or two or three weeks, I don’t think that this affects the current situation we’re in,” Rangnick said. “But yes, of course it’s important to know who will be the new manager, because to start the recruitment process, to find the best possible players only makes sense if you know who will be the manager and how does he want to play.

“There might be a couple of players – and I have already named those players to the board – that independent from formation, from style of football, and independent from a new manager, that could be of interest for a club like United.

“But in general, if you look at the size of the way the team needs to be rebuilt, I mean, it’s not enough to bring in three or four new players. It will be more, bearing in mind how many players will no longer be here with the contracts running out.”

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