Ralf Rangnick reveals his plea for Man United to sign a striker in January was REJECTED after board told him ‘there is no player that can help us’ – as he pins this season’s downfall on the failure to sign one of Luis Diaz, Dusan Vlahovic or Julian Alvarez
- Ralf Rangnick says United’s refusal to sign a striker in January is why the failed
- United allowed Martial to leave on loan despite concerns over Cavani’s fitness
- He says United should have tried harder in the final 24 hours of the window
- Rangnick says he wanted to sign Luis Diaz, Julian Alvarez or Dusan Vlahovic
Ralf Rangnick has blamed Manchester United’s refusal to give him a new striker in the January transfer window for their season falling apart.
United allowed Anthony Martial to join Sevilla on loan despite concerns over Edinson Cavani’s fitness, and then suspended Mason Greenwood two days before the window closed when he was arrested over rape allegations.
Rangnick claims that deprived him of ‘two-and-a-half strikers’ but his plea for an emergency signing was rejected on the advice of the club’s recruitment department.
Rangnick blamed United’s refusal to sign a new striker in the January window for their season
Having won six and lost one of his first 10 games as interim manager leading up to the winter break, Rangnick’s next 17 matches since then have produced just five victories. United crashed out of the FA Cup to Middlesbrough, lost to Atletico Madrid in the Champions League first knockout stage and then saw their bid for a top-four finish crumble.
Rangnick believes the club should have tried harder to sign a new striker in the final 48 hours of the transfer window but revealed on Friday that he was overruled.
‘The answer at the time was no, there is no player on the market that can help us,’ said Rangnick. ‘There were a few. Luis Diaz, who is now at Liverpool, Julian Alvarez, who will be at Manchester City in the summer, and Dusan Vlahovic, who at the time was still with Fiorentina. Those are three that come across my mind now.
United allowed Anthony Martial to join Sevilla on loan despite concerns over Cavani’s fitness
Rangnick said United should have tried harder in the final 24 hours of the window and named targets such as Luis Diaz (above)
‘I spoke to the board and told them, ‘Shouldn’t we at least speak and analyse and find if we can get a player on loan or a permanent deal?’ But the answer was no and that was it. Maybe they didn’t want to do any winter business. It doesn’t matter, the answer was no.
‘I was informed about the issue around Mason Greenwood and Anthony Martial had already left. We also were aware that Edinson Cavani might not be available for eight out of 10 games.
‘I still believe that we should have tried to sign a player in those 48 hours. The board, meanwhile, also spoke to the scouting department at the same time as me. It would have been short notice but still, 48 hours is 48 hours. It might have been at least worth to try and internally discuss it. We didn’t. It was not done.’
United are generally opposed to January signings, preferring to only do a deal if a summer transfer target becomes available early. It is understood that the club also vetoed Rangnick’s request because they did not want to eat into a tight budget for a short-term solution that his successor, Erik ten Hag, might not want.
However, Rangnick believes the decision had an impact on his six-month stint as interim boss as United’s season fell away. ‘The first couple of months we were improving,’ he added.
Rangnick also named Juventus’ Dusan Vlahovic and River Plate forward Julian Alvarez
The striker shortage persuaded United to keep Jesse Lingard for the remainder of the season
‘We conceded less goals and our points average was 2.1 after the West Ham game. We were still in three competitions — the FA Cup, the Champions League and at the time we were fourth in the league. Since West Ham, we lost two and a half, almost three, strikers. This had an effect on our goalscoring.’
While Rangnick had approved Martial’s departure, he could not have foreseen Greenwood’s arrest and admits it was a major problem. ‘The issue around Mason was a disaster for everybody. It’s not good for himself, obviously, and for his family. But it also hasn’t been good for our club.’
The striker shortage persuaded United to keep Jesse Lingard for the remainder of the season after Rangnick had given the player his blessing to leave in January. Lingard’s brother branded the club ‘classless’ after Rangnick left him on the bench for Monday’s final home game against Brentford.
‘I had to take a decision between Cavani and Lingard or the young Alejandro Garnacho,’ said Rangnick. ‘Someone might have asked if it’s classless not to bring on Cavani or Garnacho.