New interim Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick has revealed his “major target” and opened up on his transfer timeline at Friday’s press conference, which included a chuckle about Erling Haaland.
Rangnick, 63, was in the stands to watch United come from behind to defeat Arsenal 3-2 at Old Trafford on Thursday night. It was a result which the new man thought could well have ended in a 3-3 draw, but he was grateful to take the points in Michael Carrick’s last game in caretaker charge.
United conceded twice against the Gunners – a fact that was highlighted by Rangnick as an area to improve on. While, the German, who will take charge of the team against Crystal Palace on Sunday, says he is looking for more “balance” in the team.
“Thanks for coming and getting up that early. Most early press conference in my life,” Rangnick told a press conference.
He was immediately asked about getting the Old Trafford job.
“If a club like Man United contacts you for such a role, you cannot possibly turn it down.
“The major target for me is just to bring more balance to the team. We conceded two goals yesterday and if you look at the total of number of goals conceded, it is on average of two a game.
“That is just too much. Those are not the kind of games you need every day. In football to me, it’s to minimise the coincidence factor.
“It’s about winning games and, in the end, I’m very ambitious. We want to make the most successful season that is possible. Right now, we have to be realistic.
“The difference between us and the top three is big. But let’s see.”
Speaking about the 3-2 victory over the Gunners, Rangnick said: “Yesterday in the box, I felt with Michael, Kieran, it could have been 3-3.
“You don’t want these types of games as a coach. In the end, I was more than happy we got the result we wanted.
“All of you saw the game. The first half was shaky with this unlucky goal. Even myself, I said where is David? After that goal, it was a major blow for the team, they were lacking confidence.
“Which is normal after the recent weeks. It was important to get the equaliser before half-time. You could see the potential that was in the team. To transfer the game away from our own box into an area where we have our assets.”
The former RB Leipzig man was probed about potential new signings in January. And he made it clear that the current squad is certainly big enough.
“We haven’t spoken about new players. Now is the time to get to know the current squad in detail, the squad is definitely not too small,” said Rangick.
“There is enough players. Maybe after Christmas, there will be a time to talk about possible transfers in the winter. In my experience, winter is not the time for sustainable transfers. It will be difficult in the winter.
“It can only go game by game, step by step. You have to make sure you have the biggest chance to win the next game then step by step.”
The former Schalke boss also revealed that he had spoken to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and the squad he was inheriting.
“I had a long telephone call with Joel Glazer. I also spoke with Ole for almost two hours, very generous, gave me his insight on the team.
“Modern football in the last 10 years, it has completely changed into a more physical, more athletic, more vertical game. In order to develop teams, you need to train the bodies and the brains,” said Rangnick.
Meanwhile, the experienced coach scoffed at reports of various clauses in his contract. One such clause was that Rangnick would trigger a bonus payment at Old Trafford if he could get Haaland to sign for the club.
Bild claimed he would be due an £8.5m bonus if he persuaded the striker to sign on at United.
The Borussia Dortmund striker has been heavily linked with a host of clubs across Europe. Solskjaer in fact failed with a bid to sign the Norwegian in December 2019.
But Rangnick dispelled any such clauses in his contract.
“£10m for Haaland, £10m for Mbappe, £10m for Lewandowski and £10m for Kimmich,” Rangnick said laughing.
“This is nonsense. There is no such clause in my contract.
“There is little point in speculating over new players. I know what kind of player he is, but in the meantime, the whole world has realised how good the player is.
“The offensive players we have here, we have so many top players in the offensive department that we don’t need to speak about any other player.”