Man Utd fans warned to expect “unpopular” decisions as ambitious rebuild plan changes

Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick will step away from the dugout at the end of the season and take on a two-year consultancy role to assist new boss Erik ten Hag

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Ralf Rangnick previews Brentford clash

Ralf Rangnick has backtracked on comments that it could take more than five years for Manchester United to chase Liverpool, backing Erik ten Hag to get the rebuild right.

The United interim boss came in for criticism when he suggested that the Red Devils were six years away from competing with their old rivals, after they were thrashed 4-0 at Anfield. “It’s embarrassing, it’s completely disappointing, in a way also humiliating,” Rangnick told beIN Sports. “We have to accept Liverpool are six years ahead of us.”

But the German, who is now set to juggle his responsibilities between a consultancy role at Old Trafford and as manager of the Austrian national team, thinks Ten Hag can get the ball rolling quicker than that.

Ten Hag was named as the Red Devils new permanent manager last week and will arrive at the club tasked with rebuilding and remodelling a dressing room that is clearly not fit for purpose in terms of challenging for the Premier League title.

But Rangnick thinks that with the right recruitment process put in place the Dutchman will be able to have a positive early impact in his new role and pointed to the examples of Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp at Manchester City and Liverpool.

“Knowing Erik will be the manager, with a good recruitment process and bringing in the right players, I’m very positive the supporters and the media will be able to see a better team and, at the end, hopefully a better position in the league,” he said during an interview with Sky Sports.

“There are quite a few good examples in the league with when Jurgen Klopp came to Liverpool, Pep Guardiola to Manchester City, Thomas Tuchel came to Chelsea – yes, he came in the middle of the season and inherited a top-quality squad, but you still need to win the Champions League.

The future of several senior Man Utd players – including Cristiano Ronaldo and Paul Pogba – are in doubt

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“If you know what you’re looking for, the profiles of the different positions you need, it shouldn’t hopefully take too long.”

Rangnick is yet to hold talks with Ten Hag, with the incoming boss fully focused on the conclusion of his final season with Ajax. But after suggesting United fans could be waiting until 2028 for a title challenge, he has now claimed the process could move along significantly quicker, if they can replicate their two biggest rivals.

He pointed to the fact that Liverpool and City improved in every transfer window, interestingly alluding to some recruitment decisions that were “not that popular” when they were initially made. But asked again for a timeframe on these pieces falling into place at Old Trafford, he answered that it wouldn’t “necessarily need, three four years in order to do that”.

In an impassioned speech to the club’s decision makers, Rangnick recently declared United would need “open heart surgery” to get back on the right track. He’s now clarified those comments and doubled down that reversing United’s slump will take more than just one and two players arriving and departing.

Ralf Rangnick has clarified the comments he made regarding the side’s need for “open heart surgery”

“No matter which club, it is always necessary and important that you need an idea,” he added. “You need to know how you want to play, what kind of profiles do we need because if you do not do that, you’re always looking for the needle in the haystack.

“This is what I meant when I said ‘open heart surgery’. I don’t think it’s enough to do some minor corrections and amendments. I think it’s important to see the big picture and then hopefully bring in the best possible players.

“They should also fit together, this is also an issue, it is not only about bringing some players for defence, midfield and up front, it’s also important you get to know the personality of the players and that they really fit and are able to meet the standards of this big club.”

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