Rangnick admits major Man Utd squad doubts, but predicts Liverpool-esque fix in two transfer windows

Ralf Rangnick has admitted that the Manchester United squad needs a massive rebuild, claiming the “DNA” of the players is not right.

The Red Devils returned from the international break with another lacklustre result in a below-par season. United took a while to get going in the 1-1 draw with Leicester and only looked like scoring after going behind.

But even after Fred responded to Kelechi Iheanacho’s opener, the Foxes had better chances to win.

James Maddison had a goal ruled out by VAR for a foul. Up the other end, Jadon Sancho spurned an opportunity before Anthony Elanga and Marcus Rashford crossed wires and wasted a chance.

Interim Man Utd boss Rangnick admitted that he faced a selection headache before the match. Marcus Rashford was “not full of confidence”, while Jesse Lingard could not play because of illness.

But, the German added that he thinks the United squad as a whole does not have the right balance to compete.

“What was obvious in some parts of the game is that we were second best with regards to physicality,” Rangnick told the Daily Mirror.

“It was about one-on-one duels. Whenever there was body contact, we were too often second-best and that is something we have to get better at for the rest of this season, but even more so for next season.

“I just felt we could have been more dynamic, more physical, more aggressive, but we weren’t in those moments.

“It has to be a bit in the DNA of a player, to be honest. It’s difficult to change, shall I say, a technically great player into a physical, aggressive player. We have a lot of people who are technical players.”

Rangnick‘s concerns come amid the search for a new manager at Old Trafford. The German is set to stay at the club in an Old Trafford consultancy role working with club chiefs.

However, he has already given United bosses advice over their transfer operations. And he insisted that it does not have to be a six-year job to start seeing progress.

Rangnick offers Man Utd transfer advice

“Manchester City and Liverpool…have been built together and recruited over a period of five or six years – all of them under the premise of how the coaches want to play,” the manager said. “I told the board this is what has to happen [at United].

“Whenever the new head coach is clear, it has to be: how does he want to play and what kind of players do we need for that? Then we come back to DNA, speed, physicality, tempo. What do we need? This team does not lack technical players, it can do with more physicality.

“It takes right decisions and [clarity over] where you want to go: what kind of players, want kind of manager and then, in every transfer window, try to get the best possible.

“This is rocket science. It has to be done and, if that happens, it does not necessarily need three or four years. Maybe in two or three transfer windows, then the situation could be different.”

Man Utd facing manager decision

Ajax’s Erik ten Hag is the leading contender to take over from Rangnick at Man Utd.

The Dutchman has had his first formal interview with Old Trafford chiefs.

He broke his silence by admitting that United are a “great club with great fans”. However, he insisted that Ajax remain his full focus until the end of the season.

Should he take over, he would come with the reputation of building exciting teams – even after major sales.

Ajax initially reached the Champions League semi-finals under Ten Hag with the likes of Donny van de Beek, Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong.

All three have left, but Ajax continue to compete in the Champions League and Europa League.


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