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Ralf Rangnick's Man Utd transfer warning goes against recent trend ahead of summer plans


Ralf Rangnick admits Manchester United’s current predicament could hold them back in the transfer market but the likes of Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer never struggled to attract players

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Ralf Rangnick previews Brentford clash

Ralf Rangnick has warned Manchester United that their miserable predicament could prevent them from signing the biggest stars in the summer transfer window.

The Red Devils are unlikely to have Champions League football next season, languishing in sixth place with three games to go and plenty of ground to make up. If United fail to win their final outings, then interim manager Rangnick will have guided the club to their lowest Premier League points tally since the division’s inception.

With new boss Erik ten Hag set to kickstart a new era at the end of the campaign, his predecessor – who will take up a consultancy role with the club for the next two terms – conceded that their rivals will have an advantage. Asked following Thursday’s 1-1 draw with Chelsea if top players still want to join the Red Devils, Rangnick replied: “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 [Klopp] and from Thomas [Tuchel], if they want players they’re involved.

“They speak to the players and the same is probably true with Pep [Guardiola]. 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?”

Despite the acclaimed German coach’s claim, his own predecessors have proven that United can attract stars regardless of their situation. With that in mind, Mirror Football looks at how the club’s recent managers have found life in the transfer market when the chips are down.







Rangnick has admitted that Man Utd could find it hard to attract players in the transfer market
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Manchester United via Getty Imag)

Louis van Gaal

The first Red Devils boss to be without European football since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement, United’s pulling power showed no signs of weakness in 2014, with Angel Di Maria headlining a summer spree which included six signings. Di Maria became the club’s record signing from Real Madrid for nearly £60million, having been named Man of the Match in the previous season’s Champions League final.

That same term at Old Trafford, David Moyes had led the 20-time English champions to a seventh-place, meaning United couldn’t even offer Europa League football. However, Di Maria was followed by Radamel Falcao, still one of the world’s most feared strikers.

Luke Shaw, Ander Herrera, Daley Blind and Marcos Rojo made it six, with all four spending at least four seasons with the Red Devils before departing for pastures new. Shaw is still hanging about, touted as the best left-back in world football as recently as this time last year. Oh, and Victor Valdes came midway through the campaign, too.

While it’s safe to say the two big-name additions didn’t work out, Van Gaal’s first summer demonstrated that lure of Old Trafford was something which some players couldn’t resist. Even after an up and down first season which saw them return to the Champions League, German football icon Bastian Schweinsteiger rocked up with Memphis Depay, Morgan Schneiderlin and Matteo Darmian.







Louis van Gaal signed Angel di Maria despite having no European football
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John Peters/Getty Images)

Jose Mourinho

United were without the Champions League and in European football’s lesser counterpart under the guidance of the self-proclaimed special one, as Mourinho’s last piece of silverware came in the form of the 2017 Europa League. And yet, without the allure of the most sought-after competition in club football – Mourinho’s United still managed to persuade former academy graduate Paul Pogba to return to Old Trafford for a club-record fee.

The Frenchman re-joined United to the tune of £89.9m from Juventus despite the fact the Turin-based titans were operating in the Champions League while United were forced to make do with the Europa. United also managed to entice ‘the lion’ himself, Zlatan Ibrahimovic who chose the Red Devils after having the pick of the clubs once his PSG contract expired. He was joined by Borussia Dortmund star Henrikh Mkhitaryan and former Villarreal defender Eric Bailly.

Plenty of Europe’s biggest and most exciting names were willing to put pen to paper with United despite the fact they weren’t jostling with the biggest clubs for the biggest honour of all or challenging for the Premier League title, finishing outside the top four in Mourinho’s first season.






Paul Pogba left serial winners Juventus to rejoin the Red Devils

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

After qualifying for the Champions League courtesy of winning the Europa under Mourinho, his successor and club icon Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was forced to start back in the Europa following United’s dismal 2018/19 league campaign.

The Norwegian wasted little time in bolstering the squad he inherited and did not find a lack of willing players even without the promise of Champions League football. United made a number of deals from within the Premier League, though some have aged better than others.

The decision to fork out £80m on Harry Maguire and immediately make him club captain is one that raises eyebrows to this day, but the move proved the Red Devils hierarchy were willing to flex their financial muscles even without the best version of European football.

Sporting Lisbon talisman Bruno Fernandes has arguably been one of the best signings in the club’s recent history. Edinson Cavani and Donny van de Beek joined the ranks the following summer.

United had returned to Europe’s top table before a ball was kicked this season, but there were still question marks over the direction of the club. Some marquee signings quickly silenced those doubters, with Cristiano Ronaldo ’s triumphant return overshadowing a £73m move for Jadon Sancho and a £40m switch for Raphael Varane – who quit Real Madrid to move to Manchester.

Despite Rangnick’s claims, United have proved countless times that regardless of the state they find themselves in – Old Trafford will always be an attractive proposition.

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