Ralf Rangnick has used Manchester United’s top-four rivals Arsenal as a prime example of how a club must approach recruitment to build a Champions League challenge
Ralf Rangnick has told Manchester United they must get their recruitment and philosophy right if they are to stand any chance of getting back to the top.
United have nine games left to secure fourth spot and Champions League football for next season, starting today against Leicester at Old Trafford. With United out of the Champions League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup, Rangnick admitted they must sign the right players and recruit the right boss this summer to get back on track.
And United’s interim boss pointed to Arsenal, currently fourth, as an example of how a team can rebuild the right way after several years of turmoil and no Champions League football. “In the end it’s about recruitment, having the right players, signing the right players at the right time, not signing wrong players at the wrong time,” said Rangnick.
“It’s pretty easy in football, it’s about having a recruitment process. What kind of players do we really need for which kind of football? What do we stand for? And then have the best possible manager to fit into that. It would be better both financially and also sportingly, to finish fourth.
“Everyone would like to play in the Champions League every year, but other clubs have had that experience as well. If you look at Arsenal, for example, they have not played in the Champions League for a couple of years and they’ve drawn the right conclusions at the club and this is possible.”
United are interviewing candidates for the permanent manager’s job, with Ajax coach Erik ten Hag and Paris Saint-Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino having already been sounded out. Former United boss Louis van Gaal advised Dutch compatriot Ten Hag to avoid the United job if offered it, branding it a “commercial club” rather than a “football club” from his bitter experience.
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That drew a curt reply from Rangnick, who said: “Louis himself is an experienced coach and signed a contract here some years ago. He could have known that in advance if he had that opinion. It’s always good if you have money available to sign players, but the question is – do you sign the right players?
“It’s not only a question of money, but a question of what kind of idea do you have behind that? What kind of philosophy? And how do you want to play? So it’s not only a question of money. For me, it’s a great club and, if the club draws the right conclusions on what’s happened in the last couple of years – yes, the last couple of years have not been as good as expected – but if they draw the right conclusions, I still see a very bright future for this club.”