Ralf Rangnick said it is "completely false" to say he has been preparing a 'dossier' on Manchester United stars for incoming boss Erik ten Hag.

Reports had claimed Rangnick was working on such a file to hand over to Ten Hag, who will leave Ajax for the United top job at the end of the season.

Interim manager Rangnick was appointed in November and will have spent six months with United's players by the team he steps aside.

Ahead of United's Premier League game against Chelsea on Thursday, Rangnick flatly denied the existence of a dossier.

He told Sky Sports: "This is completely false, completely untrue. The board has never asked me to prepare a dossier, neither for the board nor for Erik.

"I also never said anything to nobody criticising the attitude of the players as being unprofessional or selfish. This is not true, I will always protect my players. I have never realised any issues of them being unprofessional or selfish."

Rangnick succeeded Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and United have continued to struggle to challenge for the Champions League places during the German's Old Trafford tenure, suggesting Ten Hag faces a difficult task when he steps into the role.

While there may not be a folder packed with information to pass on to the new boss, Rangnick will eagerly share the knowledge he has acquired when he talks to Ten Hag.

"I'm definitely looking forward to that. I definitely think it would make sense," Rangnick said.

"Erik is the manager next season and if he would like to get my opinion or hear something about how I assess the current situation, I'm more than happy to speak with him."

It remains to be seen what involvement Rangnick has at United once his temporary spell in charge ends.

United said, at the time of his appointment, that Rangnick would take on a consultancy role for two years, and that appears to be a role he is still planning to undertake.

"I've been talking to the board quite regularly and obviously we were also exchanging our impressions of the current situation," Rangnick said.

"For me it's important, together with Erik, together with the scouting department, we can build a new squad, a new group of players with quality and mentality that Erik, together with his coaching staff, will develop and lead this club into a range where supporters will want to see Manchester United."

United sit sixth in the Premier League and are guaranteed to stay in that position for now, whatever the result of the home clash with third-placed Chelsea.

They have won just nine of 20 Premier League games under Rangnick and have lost their last four away matches in the competition.

From the weekend of his first game in charge, his United side have gathered 33 points, with five teams (Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal, Newcastle United and Tottenham) having accrued more points over the same period.

Chelsea have one fewer point than United in the same period but have played just 18 games in this time.

For a number of years, a clash between Manchester United and Chelsea with less than a month of the Premier League campaign remaining would often be a defining one.

United's days of competing for – and regularly winning – the title are over for now, though, with the Red Devils languishing down in sixth place.

Indeed, following Saturday's 3-1 loss to Arsenal – their third defeat in four games – the Red Devils are also now effectively out of the race for a top-four finish.

While there is little to play for on the face of it, the remaining four matches at least provides Ralf Rangnick a chance to experiment before being replaced by Erik ten Hag.

Rangnick has admitted United need a huge squad overhaul if they are to compete for major honours again, but the club must also look to get more out of their academy products.

With that in mind, Stats Perform looks at some of the youngsters who may get a chance to shine when United welcome Chelsea to Old Trafford on Thursday.


Experience favoured over youth

Whether it be Ole Gunnar Solskjaer or temporary successor Rangnick in charge, United have tended to avoid picking younger players this season.

The average age of United's starting XI in the Premier League in 2021-22 is 27 years and 200 days – only seven sides, Chelsea among them, have named older line-ups.

Once famed for giving youngsters an opportunity, United have used just four players aged 21 or under in the league this campaign, and one of those was a £73million signing in the form of Jadon Sancho (who turned 22 in March).


Hannibal hungry to impress

Hannibal is highly regarded at Old Trafford but has just six minutes of playing time to his name this season, coming late on in the recent 4-0 defeat to Liverpool.

That was the first indicator Rangnick had thrown in the towel and was ready to look to the future, and Hannibal certainly left his mark – albeit on a couple of Liverpool players.

The tenacious midfielder committed as many fouls as any United player at Anfield, despite being introduced late on, and was one of two players to be cautioned.

With fellow midfielders Nemanja Matic, Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard all soon to make way, and Fred not fully fit, Hannibal may well get another opportunity against Chelsea.

Already capped 12 times by Tunisia at senior international level, now is the time for United to unleash the teenager's full potential while they have an opportunity to do so.


Shoretire set to star

Hannibal was one of four academy players that took part in training ahead of the Chelsea match, along with Alvaro Fernandez, Shola Shoretire and Will Fish.

Winger Shoretire is the most well-known of those youngsters, having made four appearances for United in all competitions.

He became the youngest player to represent United in European competition last year when featuring against Real Sociedad in the Europa League at 17 years and 23 days.

Appearances have been pretty fleeting since, though he also had a 22-minute run-out against the (appropriately named for this focus) Young Boys in the Champions League four months ago.

While others may have garnered more attention of late, Shoretire has continued to showcase his talents consistently for the Under-23s side and deserves a promotion.


Fish ready to scale new heights

The fact that Fernandez and Fish also took part in training with the senior players this week suggests that they will be part of the squad to face Chelsea at the very least.

Left-back Fernandez has been made to bide his time for a senior debut, whereas centre-back Fish made a cameo appearance in the Premier League under Solskjaer last year.

He was subsequently loaned to Stockport County ahead of the 2021-22 campaign, only to be recalled in January, though his time since has been spent with the reserves.

Tipped as a future star at the back for United since making his Under-23s debut at the age of just 16, Fish now needs the platform to showcase his talents at the highest level.


Garanacho grabbing attention

Unsurprisingly given their status as one of the biggest clubs in the world, United have a whole raft of talented teens that have been heralded as the next big thing.

Look no further than Alejandro Garnacho, who has been an unused substitute for the senior side's last three matches.

The winger is still aged just 17 and therefore has time on his side, but the early indications are that he could be a first-team regular in the next couple of seasons.

Charlie Savage, the son of one-time United academy product Robbie, is also on the cusp of being a first-team squad regular and has featured once already this season.

Zidane Iqbal was also given his first-team breakthrough under Rangnick in December, but has frustratingly – albeit understandably – had to bide his time for more senior minutes.

With nothing left to salvage in what has been another dire season, Rangnick could do a lot worse than turn to the next generation of talent to give supporters hope for the future.

Ralf Rangnick has acknowledged that no European football may make incoming Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag's first season easier, but vowed to continue fighting in the last four games.

United host Chelsea on Thursday in the Premier League with their Champions League hopes all but over, sitting six points behind fourth-placed Arsenal, who have played a game fewer than the Red Devils.

Rangnick's side are sixth and just two points ahead of West Ham, with a finish lower than seventh ensuring no European football next campaign, even in the Europa League or Europa Conference League.

That is barring any alterations to qualification permutations, should Liverpool, Manchester City, West Ham or Leicester City be successful in any of their respective European competitions.

While failure to qualify for continental club football may allow Ten Hag greater time to implement his style with a less gruelling schedule, Rangnick insists United want to win their four remaining league games.

"It could be an advantage, but that does not mean we will give away any of the remaining four games," Rangnick told a news conference on Wednesday.

"For us, it's clear and our obligation. This is our job, my job, the job of the players that we try to get the best possible results and then see at the end of the season in which position we will finish.

"Now to speak about if that would be an advantage or not does not make sense because if I did that then this would be interpreted again.

"For me, it's important we get results, that we play as good as we possibly can, because this will also affect the atmosphere and mood for the new season."

A Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick inspired an otherwise underwhelming United past Norwich City in their last game at Old Trafford, but the home players were greeted with discontent within the stadium.

Sections of the United faithful could be heard questioning the commitment of the players, while Paul Pogba infuriated Red Devils supporters by cupping his ears to the Stretford End following boos.

Disappointing defeats at Liverpool and Arsenal followed a 3-2 victory over Norwich, but Rangnick believes the United fans will still get behind their team against Thomas Tuchel's visitors.

"I think in both away games the fans have still been supporting the team and also against Norwich," said Rangnick.

"There was that one issue with Paul Pogba, but apart from that I think the supporters were great also in the game against Norwich.

"I hope and also expect our supporters to be behind the team and supporting the team [against Chelsea]."

Ralf Rangnick has suggested incoming Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag puts the Red Devils captaincy to a players' vote, placing doubt over Harry Maguire's role as skipper.

Maguire was named captain following the departure of Ashley Young to Inter in January 2020, just five months after the centre-back's £80 million transfer from Leicester City – the world record fee for a defender.

England international Maguire has come under scrutiny for both his performances and captaincy, with United struggling in the Premier League and out of all cup competitions.

United are sixth in the league and unlikely to qualify for the Champions League, sitting six points behind fourth-placed Arsenal – who defeated Rangnick's side 3-1 on Saturday and have played a game fewer.

The future of Cristiano Ronaldo and seemingly outbound Paul Pogba remains in question, with several more players also out of contract at Old Trafford as Ajax coach Ten Hag prepares for a sizeable rebuilding task.

One of the Dutchman's first tasks will be deciding on the leader in the dressing room, and Rangnick has recommended United players vote on who their next captain should be.

Asked whether Maguire will retain the captain's armband next season, Rangnick told reporters: "Again, I understand your question but again, it doesn't make sense because we don't know what kind of players will be here, what the group will look like.

"I can only tell you what I have done in the past when I was head coach or manager because in Germany it's called 'Mannschaftskapitan' – the captain of the team.

"I strongly believe the captain should be elected by the team because he's called the team manager, and we always did that.

"We always had a board of four or five players – we called it the Spielerrat [players' council] – elected by the players. The player with the highest amount of votes was the team captain at the end. That was how I did it.

"I know a lot of head coaches don't do it that way. That's what I would do if I was still the manager next season but in the end, I'm not. This is something that Erik will have to decide."

Recruitment will also be a key factor for the rejuvenation of United, with Rangnick operating in a consultancy role alongside Ten Hag, who has previously suggested he demands some ruling over transfers.

Rangnick expressed his excitement to work with Ten Hag as the pair look to turn around United's fortunes next season.

"I strongly believe that there are a lot of things that can become better and will become better with a new manager and hopefully with some new players, with some fresh energy in that squad," he added.

"With this group of new players and the quality of players that are already here, together with the new manager, I am very positive that next season will be a lot better.

"I am looking forward to working in that advisory role and obviously helping Erik as much as he wants it himself.

"In my last two clubs, we never a signed a player without the approval of the manager and I'm pretty sure this will be the case with Erik.

"I'm also positive that Erik will make some suggestions, then together with the board, together with the scouting department and possibly myself, we will then hopefully decide the right players.

"Obviously, I am more than willing and prepared to help both Erik and whomever in the club in order to change everything for the better."

However, former RB Leipzig coach Rangnick is yet to speak with the incoming Ten Hag due to the latter's commitments with Ajax.

"[Ten Hag's] focus is on Ajax now and trying to win the title there, my focus for the next few weeks is on our club, on getting the best possible results," the German continued.

"Whenever he has time, or would like to speak, yes I am available, but I would not want to contact him on my own account now."

Ralf Rangnick is ready to turn to youth after revealing six first-team players have been ruled out of Thursday's Premier League meeting with Chelsea.

United's 3-1 defeat to Arsenal last week – a fourth straight away loss – effectively ended their chances of finishing in the top four and qualifying for the Champions League.

The Red Devils have four games remaining of another trophyless campaign before interim manager Rangnick is replaced by Ajax head coach Erik ten Hag.

Rangnick is expected to use his final month in charge to integrate some younger players into the squad, with Hannibal Mejbri and Shola Shoretire taking part in training this week.

And Rangnick's hand has been somewhat forced ahead of facing Chelsea as Harry Maguire and Jadon Sancho have been ruled out with a knee injury and illness respectively.

Fred, Edinson Cavani, Paul Pogba and Luke Shaw also remain out, while Aaron Wan-Bissaka will undergo a late fitness test on Thursday.

Asked if United fans will therefore get an opportunity to see the likes of Mejbri, Shoretire, Alejandro Garnacho and Alvaro Fernandez, Rangnick said: "It's possible.

"But we also have to be fair to those players – it has to be the right moment. They should have a chance to play well and perform well – we can't just push them into a game.

"We will try to play the best possible team of those players that are available. 

"Right now, it seems we have 14 in our professional team without the youngsters that are available and probably three or four of those young players will be part of the squad."

United have used only four players aged 21 or under in the Premier League this season, while the average age of their starting line-up is 27 years and 200 days.

Only seven sides, opponents Chelsea among them, have named an older average XI in the English top flight this campaign.

While United fans are eager to see some more youth in the side, Rangnick's main focus is on finishing as high as possible before bowing out.

"We have four more games to play," he said at Wednesday's pre-match news conference. 

"The next two games are at home at Old Trafford and we will try to get as many points and win as many games as we possibly can. 

"In order to do that we need to play on the best level we possibly can. Chelsea is a good team but we know that if we play well it's possible to win the game tomorrow. 

"I don't think it makes sense now to still speak and speculate about the Champions League places, we need to be realistic. 

"Even if we win all four games it's not in our hands. What is in our hands is how we play and our level of performance. It's important to finish on the best possible note."

United have lost three of their last four league games – more than they had in their previous 18 – and are six points adrift of fourth-placed Arsenal having played a game more.

But Rangnick has warned his players they cannot afford to feel sorry for themselves as they attempt to salvage some pride in their remaining matches.

"If results are not going well, the morale, energy in the locker room isn't as good as it would be, but still we have to perform, this is what we're getting paid for," Rangnick said.

"It's important for the players, knowing the new manager, to show we are able to beat a team like Chelsea. 

"This is our job, this is what everyone has to do and this is what we have been working for."

As focus slowly shifts towards the next transfer window, Rangnick suggested players will still want to join United even if they are not competing in the Champions League.

"It would be better if we played Champions League next season but this also affects other clubs; it's not only a problem Manchester United has," he said. 

"The renewal of the contract of Bruno [Fernandes] shows this is an attractive club. With a new manager, new approach, this is still a massively interesting club.

"I look forward to helping Erik and everyone at the club to get the best and change the whole approach next season so Manchester United can be a top club."

United are unbeaten in their last eight home league games against Chelsea (W3 D5), keeping five clean sheets in that run since a 1-0 loss in May 2013.

Paul Scholes claimed Manchester United's dressing room is "an absolute mess" as the Red Devils' poor form continued with a 3-1 loss at Arsenal on Saturday.

United's hopes of finishing in the top four of the Premier League were all but ended at Emirates Stadium as they fell to a third defeat in four top-flight outings.

Cristiano Ronaldo's 100th goal in the competition was not enough as Nuno Tavares' opener, a Bukayo Saka penalty and Granit Xhaka's 25-yard drive earned victory for Arsenal.

The Red Devils, who saw Bruno Fernandes miss a penalty, have now lost four straight away league games for the first time since a run of six between December 1980 and 1981.

Reflecting on United's latest setback, club legend Scholes claimed his former side are in disarray behind the scenes as he opened up on a recent chat with Red Devils star Jesse Lingard.

"It is an absolute mess," Scholes told DAZN. "It is a disaster of a dressing room.

"I had a quick chat with Jesse the other day, and I'm sure he won't mind me saying that the dressing room is just a disaster."

United are six points adrift of the top four, having played one more game, and interim manager Ralf Rangnick has conceded that Champions League qualification hopes are over.

Asked about Scholes' comments, Rangnick – who will be replaced by Erik ten Hag at the end of the season – insisted there is no major issue with the dressing room.

"Obviously after games like today or the games at Liverpool or Everton, there is massive disappointment in the locker room for sure. This is normal," Rangnick said.

"But it would be rather a problem if that was different, so this is for me normal. I think the whole group, they get on reasonable with each other.

"I'm not daring to say they get on well with each other, but I don't see that there is an issue with regard to the atmosphere in the locker room."

United have conceded 51 league goals this season, making it only the second time they have shipped 50 or more in a single Premier League campaign (54 in 2018-19).

Next up for Rangnick's side is a home match against Chelsea on Thursday, followed by the visit of Brentford four days later.

Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick conceded his team's hopes of Champions League qualification are over after Saturday's 3-1 loss to Arsenal.

A top-four finish already looked unlikely for the Red Devils after their 4-0 humiliation by Liverpool at Anfield in midweek, but their trip to the Emirates Stadium saw them go up against a direct rival.

While United's performance was undoubtedly an improvement on their horror show on Merseyside, Rangnick's men fell 2-0 behind in the first half thanks to an early Nuno Tavares goal and Bukayo Saka's penalty.

Cristiano Ronaldo pulled one back with his 100th Premier League goal before Bruno Fernandes hit the post from the spot – that was one of three occasions United were denied by the frame of the goal, as Diogo Dalot hit both the upright and crossbar.

Arsenal finished United off slightly against the run of play when Granit Xhaka blasted home from distance with 20 minutes to go.

Victory leaves the fourth-placed Gunners six points ahead of United, while the former also have a game in hand, and Rangnick was frank in his assessment of the situation.

Asked if the top four was out of reach for United, Rangnick told BT Sport: "Pretty sure. For me, even before the game it wasn't likely, but after today's result, the top four is gone, yes."

This was United's first game since Erik ten Hag was confirmed as the club's next permanent manager, news that dominated the build-up to the match from the Red Devils' perspective.

The consensus has been that Ten Hag faces a massive rebuild at Old Trafford, with Rangnick previously suggesting United might need to sign as many as 10 new players.

But Rangnick did not feel United's performance on Saturday highlighted any new issues, while the German – who has been extremely critical of his players at times lately – even praised the team's attitude.

"There is a lot of work for sure [for Ten Hag], we knew before the game," Rangnick continued.

"But we also showed what kind of football we can play, and although we had to deal with the two early goals, we still showed the attitudes.

"So there is nothing about the attitude of the players that we should fault today."

Nevertheless, Rangnick was frustrated by United's feeble defending once again, though he tempered that by questioning the validity of some VAR decisions.

Among them, Xhaka's strike was allowed to stand despite replays suggesting Eddie Nketiah was in David de Gea's line of sight and an offside position, while United were denied a first-half penalty despite Cedric Soares clearly blocking the ball with his hand while crawling.

"The only weak side of the performance was we didn't defend well in and around the box," he said. "The same happened when we conceded the second and third goals, but for me there were three very unlucky, let's put it that way, VAR decisions.

"For me the third goal of Arsenal was clearly offside, you can see it in slow-mo. David said to me he couldn't see the ball.

"The second goal of Cristiano was definitely not offside and there was another handball decision in the first half, so we were not very happy with those VAR decisions in the end. It was an improved performance but disappointing result."

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has said he will "hopefully" return from injury before the end of the season.

Pogba sustained a calf problem in the 4-0 defeat at Liverpool on Tuesday that is expected to keep him out for a month.

United interim manager Ralf Rangnick had said on Friday he believed Pogba would not feature again this season, adding that he "most likely won't be" staying at the club beyond this campaign.

The France star is out of contract at the end of the season, and United's final game of 2021-22 is on May 22.

"He won’t be available [at Arsenal] and most likely not for the rest of the games. It seems right now he will not renew his contract [so] it's most likely he won't be here any more next season," Rangnick said at a news conference.

However, Pogba – who has been linked with a move to Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and former club Juventus in recent weeks – posted on social media during his team's 3-1 defeat at Arsenal to explain that he is still aiming to play again before the campaign ends.

"Absolutely gutted to not be able to help the team in today's game," he wrote. "I will work even harder to come back stronger and hopefully before the end of the season. It's not over. 

"Thank you all for your support, United we would stand!"

The 29-year-old won the World Cup with France in 2018, playing a starring role in that Les Bleus team, but has struggled to play at a consistently high level for United since returning to the Premier League club in 2016.

Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick has said Paul Pogba "most likely won't be" staying at the club beyond this season.

Pogba picked up a calf injury in the 4-0 defeat at Liverpool on Tuesday that will keep the midfielder out for a month.

With the Frenchman out of contract at the end of the campaign, and United's final game of 2021-22 coming on May 22, Rangnick does not expect Pogba to feature again, and has now suggested he may have played his final game for the club.

"He won’t be available [at Arsenal] and most likely not for the rest of the games. It seems right now he will not renew his contract [so] it's most likely he won't be here any more next season," Rangnick said at a news conference on Friday.

Pogba has been linked with a move to Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and former club Juventus in recent weeks.

The 29-year-old won the World Cup with France in 2018, playing a starring role in that Les Bleus team, but has struggled to play at a consistently high level for United since coming back to the Premier League club in 2016.

 

When asked why Pogba's six years at Old Trafford have been so up and down, Rangnick replied: "It’s difficult to say.

"He’s a player who won the World Cup with France, he's such a good player that he was a regular starter for a team like France. We all know what kind of potential he has and what kind of good player he can be.

"He was quite like a few other players struggling to get his best performance sustainably on the pitch for a team like Man United.

"This has not only been the case this season or in the last couple of weeks. As far as I remember, it was also the case in earlier years."

Manchester United need to make more than "minor amendments" to fix the glaring issues at the club, according to Ralf Rangnick.

United were thrashed 4-0 by old foes Liverpool on Tuesday, and face a huge game in their hopes of securing Champions League football when they take on Arsenal on Saturday.

The match in north London comes two days after United officially confirmed Erik ten Hag as their new boss, though the Ajax coach will not join until the end of the season.

It leaves interim manager Rangnick with five games to salvage a top-four finish from another underwhelming season.

Rangnick is unsure if he will be staying on in a consultancy role at Old Trafford, but he believes the problems at the club are obvious.

"You don't even need glasses to see and analyse where the problems are," Rangnick told a news conference. 

"Now it's about how do we solve them? It's not enough to do some minor amendments or cosmetic things.

"In medicine, you would say that this is an operation of the open heart.

"If this happens and everyone has realised that this has to happen and if people want to work together then it makes sense and I believe it doesn't take two or three years to change those things. This can happen within one year."

Rangnick hinted that Ten Hag, however, will need assistance in enacting these changes if they are to be successful.

"For sure [strong leadership is needed]. This is something that not just one single person as a manager can do," he continued.

"With all respect to [Liverpool manager] Jurgen [Klopp] and [Manchester City boss] Pep [Guardiola], I'm sure that they didn't do all the things themselves.

"There were also other people involved in those two clubs, people in certain positions, no matter what area it was, in order to rebuild and build something we want to build here. In all areas you have to have top people and they have to work together in a very close, reliable way."

Asked if he wanted to stay on at United, Rangnick replied: "I still see where we could develop.

"We have perfect training conditions, a great stadium, massive fan support, probably the best I’ve ever experienced apart from Schalke. Of course I would want to be part of the process that has to happen."

Mauricio Pochettino insists he has "always been fully committed to my mission" at every club he has coached at amid rumours he was disappointed to miss out on the Manchester United job.

The Paris Saint-Germain boss had long-since been considered a front-runner to take over from interim manager Ralf Rangnick, who has filled in at Old Trafford since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked in November.

However, Ajax coach Erik ten Hag was confirmed as the latest man to try and restore the good times at United, with the Dutchman taking over on a three-year deal from next season.

Reports in the British press suggest Pochettino was caught off guard by United's decision, with the Argentinian said to have been researching Manchester as a city to live.

Speaking prior to PSG's clash with Lens on Saturday, a game in which even a point would mathematically clinch the title, Pochettino was adamant he is committed to his role at Parc des Princes.

"All the rumours that have come out this year and throughout my career have never bothered me," he said.

"I never commented on them. I coached Espanyol, Southampton, Tottenham, today PSG, and I have always been fully committed to my mission. 

"I work the same way by being focused on the objectives. If I paid attention to all the rumours, life would be different."

 

United's decision to overlook Pochettino means the former Tottenham boss' future remains unclear.

PSG are cantering towards the Ligue 1 title but were knocked out of the Champions League in a dramatic last-16 tie by Real Madrid.

Ralf Rangnick has not yet discussed his Manchester United future beyond this season as the interim manager gave his full backing to successor Erik ten Hag.

United confirmed on Thursday that Ajax head coach Ten Hag will take over from Rangnick in the Old Trafford hotseat from the end of this season.

The Dutchman, who has a 73.8 per cent win rate across 210 games in charge of Ajax, will become the Red Devils' fifth permanent manager since Alex Ferguson retired in 2013.

Ten Hag has won two KNVB Cups and two Eredivisie titles in his four full campaigns at Ajax, with the Dutch giants on the verge of finishing top of the table again this term.

And while Rangnick does not have a personal connection with Ten Hag, he is a fan of the 52-year-old's style of play.

"We don't know each other, we haven't met as yet in person," Rangnick said. "I knew that Erik was one of the candidates the board spoke to.

"Obviously I told them, at least from what I had seen and know from people who have worked with Erik, that I think he would be a good choice.

"From I've seen of him, both at Bayern Munich when he was the under 23 coach and at Ajax now, I like his football.

"I'm positive with a full pre-season, with having the chance to build and mould his own staff and also a new team, we will see a different team and an improvement on the pitch."

 

Rangnick was placed in charge of United until the end of the season following the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in November.

That deal included an agreement that would see the German stay on at United for a further two years in a consultancy position, but he is not sure if that remains the plan.

"We haven't had time to speak about that," Rangnick said when asked if he would be working behind the scenes next season.

Ten Hag will inherit a United squad that has gone five years without a trophy and with question marks surrounding the futures of many players.

Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata and Edinson Cavani are out of contract, while Nemanja Matic has already confirmed he is moving on when his existing deal expires.

United are also expected to be busy in terms of incoming activity as part of a major rebuild, which Rangnick is happy to help out with if called upon.

"It's obvious there are quite a few players with their contracts expiring," Rangnick said. 

"There might be a few others who – although they have contracts – are already on loan and still want to be on loan or leave the club. 

"It will be a significant change and rebuild necessary, that's clear, but how many players and which positions, as I've said, I've not spoken to Erik in person yet. 

"If he asks me my opinion in person, I'm willing to speak to him about my experience, but on the other hand, he'll also have his own ideas."

In what has been another hugely underwhelming campaign for United, skipper Harry Maguire has come in for more criticism than most for his displays in defence.

That personal abuse spilled over on Wednesday when the defender and his family received a bomb threat, though no device was discovered in his house.

Maguire is expected to be in contention to start Saturday's Premier League trip to Arsenal and has been given the full backing of Rangnick.

"I haven't seen him yet because I only got to know about this terrible, terrible thing yesterday afternoon and since then I haven't been able to speak with him," Rangnick said.

"This is another bad sign of the crazy world we're living in and, obviously, I feel very sorry for Harry that he had that terrible experience. 

"He knows that we are all behind him, the club is behind him, everybody, the players, his team-mates. It's sad enough that crazy things like that happen."

Cristiano Ronaldo is back in contention for Manchester United's Premier League meeting with Arsenal, but team-mate Paul Pogba may have played his last game for the club.

United interim boss Ralf Rangnick confirmed on Friday that the injury sustained by Pogba against Liverpool will keep the midfielder out for a month.

With Pogba out of contract at the end of the season, and United's final game of 2021-22 coming on May 22, Rangnick does not expect the France international to feature again.

"It is very unlikely that he will play until the end of the season again," Rangnick said.

"The doctor told me that it will take four weeks minimum for him to recover and since last game is at end of May, I don't think it's very likely he will play again."

Pogba is widely expected to depart Old Trafford for a second time in the next transfer window after a somewhat disappointing six-season spell at the club.

The 29-year-old, who won the World Cup in 2018 and remains a regular for France, was jeered by his own fans after being substituted in last week's 3-2 win over Norwich City.

He started Tuesday's 4-0 loss to Liverpool but lasted just 10 minutes before hobbling off with a heel injury, with that now likely to be his final appearance in a United shirt.

 

Rangnick provided some more positive news ahead of Saturday's early kick-off against top-four rivals Arsenal, however, with three other players back available.

Scott McTominay, Raphael Varane and Ronaldo each missed the Liverpool game but will be part of United's squad for the contest at Emirates Stadium.

Ronaldo was given time off after confirming in a social media post on Monday that his baby son had passed away.

Providing an update on the eve of the Arsenal match, Rangnick said: "Cristiano has been training with us and is available again."

Ronaldo has scored six goals in his last seven appearances against Arsenal in all competitions, including a brace on his last visit to Emirates Stadium in May 2009.

United make the trip to London sitting three points behind fifth-placed Arsenal and Tottenham in fourth, having played a game more than both top-four rivals.

The Red Devils announced on the back of their heavy loss to Liverpool that Ajax head coach Erik ten Hag will succeed interim boss Rangnick at the end of the season.

Rangnick's sole focus between now and the end of May is guiding United into the Champions League, making Saturday's meeting with Arsenal effectively must-win.

"We just need to make sure we play far better than we did against Liverpool," Rangnick said. "This is the only way to deal with it. 

"We need to get the best possible team on the pitch and play in a different way, with more conviction, more confidence and more aggressive behaviour on the pitch. 

"We will have to show a completely different performance."

United are winless in their past three home league matches against Arsenal, failing to score each time – never before have they gone four in a row without a goal in this fixture.

Manchester United should not be expected to win trophies under Erik ten Hag immediately, says Gary Neville, warning it is a long job for the Dutchman with a mentally shot squad at Old Trafford.

The Ajax boss will take the reins from interim manager Ralf Rangnick at the end of the season, with the Red Devils arguably facing their lowest point in the post-Alex Ferguson era.

Questions over whether a squad low on confidence can challenge for Champions League football remains in the air, and several key players look destined for the door.

Hopes are high that Ten Hag can facilitate a fast turnaround - but speaking after his appointment, former defender Neville has warned there will be no quick fix at the Theatre of Dreams.

"What we're seeing at this current moment is unacceptable," Neville told Sky Sports News. "Ten Hag has got a big job to get the club back up to those minimum standards.

"They need to achieve [...] attitude, work ethic, belief, confidence and then hopefully you start to think about winning trophies.

"But honestly, I wouldn't be putting too much pressure on Ten Hag in the first one or two years to win a trophy at the club. It would be great if he did and he'd be overachieving, in my opinion.

"It will be: get into the top four, re-establish Man Utd in the Champions League, attract the players into the club who can play in the way he wants to play, and then get a system of belief.

"It took Jurgen Klopp four or five years to win a Premier League title. I wouldn't be putting pressure on Ten Hag to win a Premier League title. They're a million miles away from that.

"At the end of last season, I thought they were getting closer. But it's all collapsed and fallen to pieces. I don't know why that's happened. Ten Hag gets to pick up the pieces."

It has been a dramatic fall from grace for United, after their much-vaunted rebuild under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looked on the cusp of paying dividends last term.

But since their Europa League final defeat at the end of the 2021-22 campaign, they have delivered few statement performances, and Neville believes the losing feeling will be hard to shake.

"The players have completely lost their confidence and belief," he added. "They don't want to play football for Manchester United at this moment in time.

"That's not they don't want to play football for the club - they don't want to play football. They want the season to finish. You can see it in their eyes. They just want these games over.

"But the problem is there is no hiding place at this club. All the eyes are still going to be on them and they're going to have to try to turn up. They've got to find something from somewhere.

"I want to be careful in saying there's long-lasting damage but the mental impact of what's happening, that's going to have [a] long-lasting impact on some of those lads."

Ten Hag will succeed Rangnick, with the German expected to remain at the club on a consultancy basis - and Neville feels that it will be the latter who helps the Dutchman dictate transfer policy.

"Recruitment is the most important job in a football club," he said. "If you get the players wrong, you're struggling.

"Rangnick has had four or five months to assess that dressing room. I'm pretty certain they'll be having pretty direct conversations about who he needs to get rid of.

"It's on the tip of Rangnick's tongue in every single interview he does and you feel like he's going to go rogue at some point and start calling players out.

"He's doing it in groups, but there's no doubt Rangnick will be passing on that very specific information about who Ten Hag needs to get rid of - and I'm sure Ten Hag will listen and buy into that."

David de Gea is "very excited" to work under Erik ten Hag after the Dutchman was confirmed as Manchester United's new manager on Thursday. 

Ten Hag will arrive from Ajax at the end of the season and take over from interim boss Ralf Rangnick on a three-year contract with an option to extend for another year. 

The 52-year-old is on course to win a third Eredivisie title with Ajax this season and has been lauded for his possession-based style. 

He guided Ajax to the Champions League semi-finals in 2018-19 and won two KNVB Bekers, though he was unable to make it a third last Sunday when his side were beaten 2-1 by PSV in the final.

De Gea is pleased to finally have clarity over United's managerial future and hopes they can focus on getting their push for a place in the Premier League's top four back on track. 

"Very excited the club has made the decision so now we all know," De Gea told United's official website. 

"We know what he has done for Ajax, he has nearly been in a Champions League final, he won titles and he develops players, so I’m very excited. 

"I think he plays very good football. Now we have to be very focused on the last games but we are excited to know who is coming. But now let's focus on Arsenal and fight until the end to be in the top four. 

"It's good to know and for sure he is already watching the games and thinking about what he can do to improve the team, so that's very good for us. I'm looking forward to working under him. 

"Of course, now the focus on Arsenal, it's a final [for us], we have to take the three points, [otherwise] the top four is done. Let's be focused and win the game." 

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