Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Ralf Rangnick left irate over Man Utd failure to sign hugely-talented striker as Fabrizio Romano reveals watershed moment in German’s reign

Ralf Rangnick, former Man Utd interim manager, speaks to the media before a Premier League match

Manchester United’s failure to sign a striker strongly recommended by Ralf Rangnick last January caused huge anger between the German and the club, according to Fabrizio Romano.

The 64-year-old manager was appointed by the Red Devils as interim boss last November after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was relieved of his duties. Rangnick – known as the Godfather of the Gengenpress – was brought in a caretaker capacity initially. That deal was to see him take charge of the club until the end of the season when he would move into a two-year advisory role.

Part of that responsibility was to help director of football John Murtough identify potential transfer targets. And with the January transfer window fast approaching upon his arrival, he urged the club to move for one in particular.

United very evidentally last season were lacking all over the park. But one obvious area to improve on was in attack, where only Cristiano Ronaldo was finding the net on a regular basis. By the end of the season, Ronaldo had 24 goals to his name. But Bruno Fernandes was the only other star to hit double figures (10), with three of those coming on the opening day of the season.

Indeed, with Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Jadon Sancho all struggling in front of goal, Rangnick wanted a new striker brought in.

United, however, failed to follow up on that advice and the player – much to Rangnick’s frustration – went on to finalise a move elsewhere.

That player, then River Plate striker Julian Alvarez, would later go on to agree a switch to Manchester City.

Costing City an estimated £15.4m, Rangnick was reportedly furious that United failed to follow up on his recommendation.

Ralf Rangnick recommended Julian Alvarez signing

Lifting the lid on the fall out, Romano explains how the chance to sign Alvarez was passed up.

“The 2023 January transfer window will be an important one for the club’s project,” Romano told Caught Offside. “But for it to be a success they need to learn from the mistakes of last year.

“The mistake was clear: Ralf Rangnick, who was at that time interim manager and preparing to become a consultant to work with the board and with Erik ten Hag, was furious with Man United because they didn’t want to sign any players last January. They had some opportunities, but they didn’t want to sign a striker, specifically.

“Julian Alvarez was of one of those players – he was offered to United and other clubs. He had a release clause, and was a player Rangnick had on his list at Lokomotiv Moscow.

“In the end, Man United decided not to proceed. And now Man City have this really good striker, for the present and the future.”

United in the market for a new striker once again

Rangnick was ultimately to severe ties with United having taken up a job with the Austrian national side instead.

Shortly before that, United confirmed the appointment of Ten Hag, who clearly had his own ideas on transfer strategies.

And with Rangnick having his nose put out of joint, his exit from Old Trafford was the only feasible solution.

Ten Hag would go on to spend around £216m in the summer market, making six new signing in total.

Indeed, he strengthened most areas of his side, though the capture of a new centre forward was still not addressed.

As such, United continue to reportedly consider a number of options ahead of the January window once again.

Doubts continue to overshadow Ronaldo’s future with Ten Hag only handing the veteran star limited chances to impress.

But with a limited budget to spend in the winter window, United are seemingly plotting their next course of action.

Alvarez, meanwhile, has shown at City what a useful signing he looks like he will be. He already has two Premier League goals in just 166 minutes of action in the competition.

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