VIDEO: Five signings to kick-start Rangnick’s revolution
Manchester United have announced Ralf Rangnick as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's replacement with just a month until the transfer window opens.
The 63-year-old former Schalke and RB Leipzig coach takes the reins on an interim basis until the end of the season, tasked with overhauling a club heading in the wrong direction.
Without a league title since 2013 and having failed to reach a Champions League final since their Wembley defeat to Barcelona in 2011, United are in need of urgent renovation.
Rangnick is well regarded across European football, both as an innovative coach and as a master of the transfer market — seen notably by his work as a director at Leipzig and FC Salzburg.
With the German genius now at the helm, we identify five players who could lead his Red Devils revolution.
If there is one player who could transform United’s long-term prospects, it is Erling Haaland.
The Norwegian superstar's release clause at Borussia Dortmund comes into effect at the end of the season and a number of suitors are lining up to pay the rumoured £66million fee.
Rangnick has history with Haaland — and his father Alfe-Inge — after facilitating the 21-year-old’s transfer from Molde to RB Salzburg in January 2019.
That personal relationship could prove crucial when Haaland makes a final decision on his future.
The opportunity to learn from one of the true greats in Cristiano Ronaldo and reconnect with former team-mate Jadon Sancho could also tempt the Dortmund forward to make the switch to Manchester.
Of any potential transfer, this is the one that could truly kick-start the Rangnick era.
Rangnick’s network of contacts could also pay dividends in the pursuit of German teenager Karim Adeyemi.
The 19-year-old has thrust himself into the limelight with a number of eye-catching displays this term.
On the international stage, Adeyemi made an immediate impact, scoring on his debut in a 6-0 thrashing of Armenia in September.
Later in the month, the former Bayern Munich academy product netted both goals in Salzburg’s 2-1 Champions League group stage win against Lille.
This was then backed up with an opening goal in a 3-1 triumph against Wolfsburg in the Austrian champions' subsequent European encounter.
A combination of raw ability and a proven goalscoring record has put Adeyemi among the top young talents on the continent.
Although contracted at Salzburg until 2024, Rangnick’s connections may allow United to jump ahead of the queue of admirers to land a major transfer coup.
Another in-form forward, Christopher Nkunku has taken his game to another level this season.
A Champions League hat-trick at Manchester City, accompanied by strikes against Paris-Saint Germain and Club Brugge, has made Nkunku one of the hottest properties in the Bundesliga.
The 24-year-old Frenchman is enjoying his third season at RB Leipzig but may have reached his ceiling at the Red Bull Arena.
Rangnick could make use of his Leizpig ties when Nkunku decides it is time to take the next step of his flourishing career.
While Nkunku has been taking the plaudits at Leipzig this season, team-mate Dani Olmo should not be overlooked.
The Spanish international could offer Rangnick an alternative solution to fix United’s misfiring midfield.
With five goals and 10 assists in 32 Bundesliga games last season — along with three assists for his country at Euro 2020 — the 23-year-old is a serious talent.
New Barcelona coach Xavi is said to be an admirer and is keen to convince La Masia graduate Olmo to make a return to the Catalan club.
Rangnick could intervene, however, and persuade Olmo that Old Trafford should be his next destination.
With an array of attacking options on the table for Rangnick, it is perhaps in defence where reinforcements are required most.
Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly have all struggled this season despite the arrival of Raphael Varane in the summer.
And Bayern Munich central defender Niklas Sule may be the man Rangnick identifies as one of his key priorities.
Sule is currently in talks with the Bavarian giants over extending his contract at the Allianz Arena, which expires this summer.
Now led by Rangnick disciple Julian Nagelsmann, Bayern have struggled to secure Sule’s long-term future and United may be able to swoop in to convince the German international that the time is right for him to make a Premier League move.