Ralf Rangnick explains what he has told Manchester United board about transfer targets


United dropped more points again in their 1-1 Premier League draw with Leicester at Old Trafford to leave them still in sixth and with a dismal 50% win percentage at home, while they have won 14 of their 30 league games.

United’s fifth successive season is certain to end trophyless and their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League are fading, with Arsenal three points ahead and with two games in hand.

Rangnick reiterated the United squad lacks physicality and the club needs to address the balance of assembling a squad of too many technical players.

The German, who is due to start a consultancy role on July 1, revealed he had advised the United board to recruit players in the next manager’s image – as Liverpool and Manchester City have – with Erik ten Hag the favoured candidate to take over next season.

“Both teams of Manchester City and Liverpool – I also watched the Liverpool game today – they also had problems to find their rhythm but in the end, they still won 2-0 quite comfortably,” Rangnick said. “Those two teams have been built together and recruited over a period of five or six years, all of them under the premise of how do the coaches want to play?

“We spoke about that already yesterday, and this is what has to happen. That far I can go right now. I told the board this is what has to happen. 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 has to be a bit in the DNA of a player, to be honest. It is difficult to change, shall I say a technically great player into a physical, aggressive player, and we have a lot of people who are technical players.

“On a day when we are fluid and in our rhythm, we have shown in the past we can outplay other teams. But today was difficult. Leicester were aggressive and physical in many parts of the game. We had problems with them.

“It is as it is and it is difficult to change. I do not think it is to do with mindset, it is to do with the DNA of players.

“It is a completely different project (from my previous clubs). Leipzig, we started on level four, Schalke when I came the first time was 17th. We also spoke about that yesterday.

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

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

Rangnick defended Bruno Fernandes, who jumped out of a challenge with Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall when Leicester regained possession to take the lead through Kelechi Iheanacho

“The same was true with Fred (who was dispossessed) and he is one of our physical players and aggressive players,” Rangnick added. “But I am not only talking about this specific moment. There were quite a few other moments, I just felt we could have been more dynamic, more physical, more aggressive. But we weren’t in those moments.

“I never doubt or question the character of players and so far, from what I have seen in the last couple of weeks and months, I don’t think we have a lack of character but what was obvious in some parts of the game today is that we were second best with regards to physicality, it was about one-on-one duels.

“We spoke about that counter-attacking moment we had ourselves where they tackled us away twice, within two seconds and the same is true in quite a few other moments. So whenever there was body contact we were too often second best today and that is something we have to get better at for the rest of this season, but even more so for next season.”