The new interim boss, who is expected to attend Thursday night’s clash with Arsenal, has been given a clear hint of where to strengthen in January from Bruno Fernandes’ past comments
The German boss has taken charge of the Red Devils until the end of the season as their interim coach while the club search for a long-term successor to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Work visa issues prevented Rangnick from taking charge of his first game against Arsenal on Thursday, but United are hopeful their interim boss will be in the dugout for Sunday’s visit of Crystal Palace.
The 63-year-old was given a tour of the Theatre of Dreams by United Football Director John Murtough as he got to grips with his new surroundings.
Rangnick checked out the Old Trafford pitch and met staff, and is understood to have also visited United’s Carrington training complex.
The 63-year-old is understood to have been handed a £100million war chest in order to reshape the squad when the transfer window reopens in January and he has already been given an area to strengthen in by one of his key players, Fernandes.
The Portuguese, when asked about who his dream team-mates would be, singled out United legends Roy Keane and Paul Scholes as the footballers he would have liked to play with.
“If I can have both, better, because I need the guy behind me kicking everyone and recovering balls, like Roy Keane does, and have the quality to give the balls to the guys up front,” he said back in April 2020.
“If you look at Roy Keane, he’s the kind of player all teams need. Teams play in different ways, but all the teams can have him. Doesn’t matter if you play in possession, in counter, you need a guy like this normally.
“I think Roy Keane is an excellent player and he can give me a lot of cover in the back.”
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Those comments from the Portuguese may have been made 18 months ago, but it points to the problem that Solskjaer and his recruitment team failed to resolve in an otherwise solid transfer window.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho arrived for a combined £120m, but there are already question marks over Ronaldo’s future at Old Trafford under Rangnick.
Varane has been injured for the past month while United’s results have nosedived and Sancho only recently ended a 13-game run without a goal.
Signing players of Keane and Scholes’ ilk is no easy task, and it could be argued that the particular type of player no longer exists.
But Fernandes seemed to indicate that the team was lacking a holding midfielder who is capable of dictating the tempo of a match and also make tackles.
There are doubts over whether Fred and Nemanja Matic are good enough to play on a regular basis in this Manchester United side.
Targets have included Declan Rice and Aurelien Tchouameni, while Rangnick is reportedly targeting a move for RB Leipzig midfielder Amadou Haidara — a player he knows well from his time with the Bundesliga outfit — according to The Daily Mail.
With United now 15 points off the pace after Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool all won, Rangnick will need to get up to speed quickly and assess his squad before the window opens.