How Manchester United’s transfer policy is undermining Ralf Rangnick

(Football news) When Manchester United appointed Ralf Rangnick as an interim manager after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s sacking, most fans welcomed the news as the 63 year old German manager has good track record at the various clubs he has been at, is tactically astute, progressive and has an eye for identifying world class talent. Rangnick has been appointed as interim manager with a consultancy role of some sort after the season ends, a positive move as the club has not had a consistent transfer policy ever since Sir Alex Ferguson retired. However, the January transfer window has indicated that the club’s hierarchy are unwilling to trust Rangnick with transfers, simply because a new manager is expected to take charge in the summer.

Rangnick has identified talents such as Joshua Kimmich, David Alaba, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Erling Braut Haaland who have gone on to establish themselves as top players with successful careers. One would give Rangnick the benefit of doubt when it comes to transfers, especially considering his proven track record. Despite the club being out of the Premier League title race and eliminated from the Carabao Cup, there is still a lot to play for this season with the Champions League, FA Cup and a top four place up for grabs. So why haven’t the Manchester United board backed Rangnick despite the fact that the club desperately needs some new faces, especially in midfield?

Amad Diallo and Donny Van De Beek have already been loaned out to Rangers and Everton respectively, Greenwood’s career seems to be in serious jeopardy after recent allegations while Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard are expected to leave for free this summer. Moreover, Edinson Cavani, Juan Mata, Phil Jones and Dean Henderson are also expected to leave the club in the not so distant future. If there was a time to make some moves in the transfer market, it was in the January transfer window despite it being notoriously difficult to buy top players in the middle of an ongoing season. However, the club has signed the likes of Henrik Larsson, Louis Saha, Juan Mata, Patrice Evra, Bruno Fernandes and Nemanja Vidic in the January transfer window in the past and they have gone on to become influential and successful signings. 

Since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement, Manchester United have had six managers (including Rangnick) and about a billion pounds spent in transfers. So why is there nothing to show for it apart from an odd trophy? The reason for that is the club lacks a consistent transfer policy which would mean the players can adapt to different managers in different set ups, tactics and formations. When any new manager has come, there has been many outgoings and signings in order to “amend the mess made by the previous manager” and the cycle has continued. Rangnick’s consultancy role meant that if he were to take the position of DOF (Director of Football), it would be his responsibility of identifying transfer targets in collaboration with the current manager. However, if the Manchester United hierarchy are unwilling to listen to Rangnick now, what is the guarantee they will do so in the future?

It is increasingly becoming evident that the vicious cycle of “failure”, “rebuild” and “progress” will continue until Manchester United’s board and owners seriously begin prioritizing the football aspects of the business they are responsible for. Under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s reign, words such as “cultural reset” and “united DNA” were thrown around as justification for the lack of trophies, but it’s the same players who threw the Norwegian under the bus and are currently struggling to adapt to Rangnick’s demands. Rangnick needs to be given greater control over Manchester United’s transfers and must be backed by the owners to make it happen, if not, it’s absolutely pointless to keep him in a consultancy role once the new manager comes in.

Also read: Frank Lampard set for managerial return with Everton


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