Rangnick names three forwards he asked Manchester United to sign in January

Ralf Rangnick has been speaking candidly about three forwards he asked Manchester United to sign in January.

All three are off the table now, with two signing for rival clubs. The interim boss also takes some responsibility himself for not pushing harder.

Rangnick had though, only been at the club a month, and he could not have foreseen Edinson Cavani’s injury issues being so bad that he has only started one game since February 1.

The option to sign a striker was discussed at the end of January after the Mason Greenwood news emerged, Rangnick said, but United sat back and bought nobody.

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Three forwards he asked about

Rangnick named three forwards he asked about. River Plate’s Julian Alvarez was one. He was signed by Manchester City and loaned back to the Argentine side. He has scored eight goals since, also providing four assists, and struck 24 times last season.

Argentine newspaper Ole reported how Alvarez’s agent wanted to hear an offer from United, but clearly none were forthcoming.

Rangnick told The Guardian: “There were a few: Díaz who is now at Liverpool, Álvarez who will be at Man City in the summer, Vlahovic who at the time was with Fiorentina.

“So those are just three of them that come across my mind now. The answer was no and that was it. We were still in three competitions: the FA Cup, the Champions League, at the time were fourth in the league.

“I spoke to the board and told them: ‘Shouldn’t we at least speak and analyse and find if we can at least get a player, on loan or a permanent deal?’ In the end the answer was no.

“Maybe they didn’t want to do any winter [business]. Forty-eight hours is 48 hours.

“It might have been at least worth to try and internally discuss it. We didn’t.”

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Signing Luis Diaz would have been worth it just to keep him out of Liverpool’s hands. He has played a major role in their hunt for trophies over the past few weeks, and even scored and provided an assist against United. That will have been hard for Rangnick to take.

Dusan Vlahovic would have been expensive, he went to Juventus, where he has gone onto score seven times, having already netted 17 in the first half of the season for Fiorentina.

Vlahovic was reportedly scouted by United in November, per The Mail and United then did nothing.

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A smart club would not have left it to the last moment to consider these deals. By time Rangnick recommended them, it was probably just too late.

United saw two seasons ago that the market for strikers in the last 48 hours of the transfer window is not exactly upper-tier, having to settle for Odion Ighalo.

What is frustrating, is to hear of the United board not backing a manager, again. It’s like history repeating itself. From Jose Mourinho to Louis van Gaal to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the bosses rarely get the players they ask for.

Incoming manager Erik ten Hag needs to have control over transfers. He says he has insisted on this, but we will see what this really looks like at the end of August. Recent history has taught us to be sceptical.

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