Ralf Rangnick admits new Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag faces a battle to convince transfer targets to choose Old Trafford ahead of other Premier League destinations this summer.
Ten Hag will embark on a huge overhaul of the United squad when he takes over from Rangnick at the end of the season.
But with United set to miss out on Champions League football, the Dutchman will have a smaller transfer budget and may also have a harder job selling the club to potential signings if Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea are also interested.
Ralf Rangnick has admitted new Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag faces a battle to convince transfer targets to choose United ahead of other Premier League rivals this summer
Rangnick admitted that ten Hag may have to launch a personal charm offensive to take on Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchel after United have fallen behind their rivals.
Asked if top players still want to join the club, Rangnick said: ‘As a club, with regards to supporters, stadium, quality of training ground, I would say yes.
‘But we also have to be realistic. As soon as other clubs like Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City are involved, then you need some good reasons and somebody needs to explain to the players.
‘That is why it is important what Erik thinks. I know from my time with Leipzig and Salzburg, and I also know it from Jurgen and from Thomas, if they want players they’re involved. They speak to the players and the same is probably true with Pep.
‘They will invite the players themselves. It’s also about speaking to those players and finding out about their mentality and character, are they really players who are the best possible fit for this club.
The Dutchman is set to replace interim boss Rangnick (pictured) at Old Trafford this summer
‘It is not only identifying those players but meeting them, convincing them to join the club even though we will not be playing in the Champions League. It is obvious the club needs quite a few new players. I already told you how I see that.
‘For me it’s important the club identifies scouts and then recruits those kind of players to develop Manchester United into one of the top teams again and therefore you need mentality, quality, physicality, pace and skills. You need the full package.
‘It’s obvious and I think this season showed that there are some problems that need to be solved and that need to be attacked and need to be settled.
‘I am positive. Again, I have to say with Erik ten Hag Manchester United will have one of the best coaches that are available, probably one of the best coaches we have in Europe.
‘Then it is about together with him, recruitment together with the way the team is being trained and coached, are the two most vital things.
Ten Hag may have to launch a charm offensive to battle Jurgen Klopp (l) and Thomas Tuchel (r)
‘If those two things come together I am very positive the fans here at Old Trafford can see a better kind of team and a better kind of football.’
Rangnick believes United’s best approach may be to avoid established stars and look to sign players with potential.
He used the example of Erling Haaland, who is set to join City for £63million from Borussia Dortmund this summer, as a player who could be identified at an earlier stage.
Rangnick is expected to advise United on recruitment over the next two years after confirming that he will take up a two-year consultancy at Old Trafford while also working as coach of the Austria national team.
The German has a track record of developing emerging talent at Red Bull owned clubs Leipzig and Salzburg, with Haaland having spent a year with the latter club before moving to Dortmund.
Rangnick used the example of Erling Haaland as the kind of player United should target buying
Ten Hag also has a reputation for nurturing youth at Ajax, and Rangnick believes this is the area that United should target.
‘My personal opinion is the club should try to find future top star players and develop them,’ he said.
‘Haaland is a young player, he is 21. This is one of those players I spoke about. But, on the other hand, he has developed into one of the most expensive strikers in the world.
‘He could be one of those examples where I think the focus should be on to try and identify and find and then convince players who could be Manchester United players for the next couple of years.
‘We just need to look into the other top clubs – the other top clubs in England and also in some other countries in Europe. What kind of players do and did they sign in the past, and then you get the answer yourself.’