Ralf Rangnick sends advice to Erik ten Hag over position Cristiano Ronaldo 'wants to play'


Ralf Rangnick has been unable to save Manchester United’s season. However, the German is best placed to advise his successor, Erik ten Hag, on what the team needs over the summer and how to best use some players.

The Red Devils secured their biggest victory under the management of interim boss Rangnick on Monday night by securing a 3-0 victory over Brentford. Bruno Fernandes, Cristiano Ronaldo and Raphael Varane were all on the scoresheet for United, three stars who could become crucial players under Ten Hag.

The Dutchman is expected to orchestrate a mass reshuffle of United over the summer, with the club willing to back the current Ajax manager to ensure that he can set the team up as he wishes ahead of next season. However, before Ten Hag starts working on those plans, Rangnick has offered him some words of wisdom.

Ronaldo has been United’s saving grace this season with 18 goals in 29 Premier League appearances, but Rangnick has insisted that playing as a lone striker does not best utilise the Portugal captain going forward. He said: “Cristiano is not a central striker, he also does not want to play in that position.

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“In order to not play central, you have to play with two strikers as we did in the last 15 minutes or in my first game against Crystal Palace or the second one against Norwich, and even in the second half against Newcastle. But if you look at international football, there are not many top teams who play with two strikers.

“Most of the international top teams either play with three strikers or a false nine, so for me, it’s not a question of position, it’s a question of what kind of quality players Manchester United have in the future.”

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With Edinson Cavani out of contract at the end of the season, signing a striker will already have been top of Ten Hag’s shopping list upon his arrival. However, he may be swayed into signing a few forwards to provide depth if he intends on starting Ronaldo alongside another striker.

Harry Kane of Tottenham has previously been linked with United, though he is likely to cost the club a significant amount of their transfer budget given that Manchester City saw an offer of £100million rejected for him last summer. Benfica prospect Darwin Nunez has also been reportedly scouted by the Red Devils, the Uruguayan has scored 26 goals in 27 appearances in the Liga Portugal this season. Ten Hag will certainly arrive with his own targets as well.


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