Interim Manchester United manager Ralf Rangnick hinted there could be up to ten new signings following Tuesday's 4-0 demolition at the hands of Liverpool.

It was effectively game over after 25 minutes with Liverpool already up 2-0 by that point, and United simply were not capable of mounting a tangible fightback.

Following October's 5-0 trashing at Old Trafford, Tuesday's 4-0 loss at Anfield served as a microcosm of where the two clubs are at on and off the pitch.

Rangnick asserted the need for a disjointed United to take on a long-term overhaul in the same vein as Liverpool and Manchester City, who built squads over time on the basis of identity.

"If you look at the two clubs who are currently dominating the Premier League, they did exactly that," he said post-match. "They brought in two managers and not only did they bring in two managers, they also changed the whole thing in terms of formation, what kind of players do they need? What kind of football do we want to play?

"The headline of everything was 'how do we want to play?' And underneath this headline after every transfer window, they created the team they have in both clubs.

"If you analyse the situation, it's not that difficult to analyse. The team needs a rebuild, not because some players have to go but quite a few have no contracts anymore, their contracts are expiring, then for me it's clear there will be six, seven, eight, maybe 10 new players."

Ralf Rangnick suggested Liverpool have humiliated Manchester United this season following the Red Devils' 4-0 defeat at Anfield on Tuesday.

It was the second time in 2021-22 that Liverpool have hammered United, with the Reds winning 5-0 at Old Trafford in November – but given they had a man sent off back then, Tuesday's result was arguably worse.

The nine goals United have conceded against Liverpool is the most they have ever shipped to one opponent in a single Premier League campaign – they last suffered a worse aggregate defeat across two fixtures against the same team back in 1892-93 (11-0 v Sunderland).

United's first-half display was particularly poor as Liverpool dominated throughout, with Rangnick's men making it to the break without attempting a single shot for the first time since April 2018.

The gravity Liverpool's dominance over United this term was not lost on Rangnick.

"It is embarrassing, it is disappointing, maybe even humiliating. We have to accept they are six years ahead of us now," he told BBC Sport.

"When Jurgen Klopp came they changed at the club and lifted not just the team but the club and city to a new level. That is what needs to happen with us in the next transfer windows."

Rangnick opted to start with a back three and gave Phil Jones a rare start, but he abandoned that setup at half-time following United's gutless opening 45 minutes, with Jadon Sancho coming on to provide a bit of spark in attack.

The manager is not convinced the outcome would have been any different even if he had started with a back four as normal, however, adamant player errors were to blame for the goals.

"I don't think a different formation at the start would have changed anything," he continued. "The first goal we conceded, it was not part of the game plan to be that high up and concede a counter-attack after five minutes. That changed the game.

"The first half, we were just not good enough. We did not win any first ball or second balls. We were second best in all relevant areas.

"Second half we changed a centre-back with Jadon Sancho. The first 25 minutes we were better and had pressure on the ball at times. We had two or three moments, but the third goal killed the game off.

"For the third goal it came from a ball we should not play. A pressing invitation: 12 yards into Anthony Elanga, who is a player for [running] behind their back line.

"It is inviting them for those moments and six seconds later the ball was in our net."

The result leaves United three points behind fourth-placed Tottenham, who have played a game less, while Liverpool moved above Manchester City – who play Brighton and Hove Albion on Wednesday – at the top.

Jurgen Klopp admits he feels "a bit" for Manchester United after Liverpool routed them for the second time in the Premier League this season.

A Mohamed Salah double as well as goals for Luis Diaz and Sadio Mane helped the Reds to a 4-0 win against a lacklustre Red Devils side.

Ralf Rangnick's visitors were without Cristiano Ronaldo for personal reasons and lost Paul Pogba to injury early on.

It marks the latest dire result under the interim manager as United limp towards the end of a crushingly disappointing campaign, and Klopp unexpectedly admits he sympathises with their struggle.

"I feel a bit for them," he told BBC's Match of the Day. "It doesn't happen often, and I don't think it will happen often. It is not a normal situation.

"They are not in a good moment and on top have a lot of injuries. When Pogba left the pitch they played without their usual midfield.

"The pitch can become really big with a lot of offensive players on it. Centre midfield with [Nemanja] Matic and [Bruno] Fernandes is not how you want to play.

"Nothing against the players, it is just not their natural game. We had 70-75 per cent of the ball and they have to defend and that is not easy."

Elsewhere, Klopp was happy to lavish praise upon Thiago, with the Spain international becoming a masterful mainstay of the manager's side.

"He is a good player," Klopp added. "We have to keep him fit. He has good rhythm, which helps. He is in the right spaces, the little turns and passes.

"We don't have five million players like this on the planet. Only a few see things earlier than everyone else and also have the technical ability to get the ball there as well.

"[It was] a top game from him. Everybody was outstanding and that is what you need to win against Man Utd."

Good luck Erik ten Hag.

When Manchester United announce – as expected – the Ajax boss as their next permanent manager, social media will be flooded with suggestions of what he needs to do or fix to get the club challenging for titles again, and it's going to be a long list.

On the evidence of United's performances against Liverpool – who will surely be one of the two teams to beat again in 2022-23 – this term, the chasm between the Old Trafford club and the best is at its widest in a generation.

Liverpool crushed them 5-0 at Old Trafford in November, though Tuesday's 4-0 loss at Anfield was arguably worse and probably even had interim manager Ralf Rangnick considering his own future.

The most ardent of Man Utd fans would've been feeling glum pre-match about their chances here, though there would always be a hint of 'what if'.

It's football. There could always be a freak goal, a comical own goal, one moment of individual brilliance. Throughout the history of the sport there have been countless examples of teams absorbing pressure for 90 minutes and stealing a winner.

As bad as United have been at times this season, and as good as Liverpool are in general, fixtures like this bring a sense of unpredictability – or at least they're supposed to.

As arguably the most recognised and historic rivalry in English football, the minimum one would've expected from United was a bit of desire to get one over the Reds, maybe dent their quadruple hopes. But there was no sign of such spirit until it was already too late.

Frankly, United's first-half performance was a joke. Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville, a former Red Devils captain, said before the game that this was their worst team in "30-40 years", and it was difficult to disagree with him come half-time.

Of course, it should be said that this wasn't just about United being poor: Liverpool were excellent for much of the game. Thiago Alcantara was a joy to watch in midfield as he almost single-handedly pulled Rangnick's defence and midfield this way and that. Even the Spain international's inaccurate passes were satisfying to see because you saw the invention and vision behind them.

But it was the speed, directness and ruthlessness that typifies this Liverpool team that brought the fifth-minute opener, as they cleverly worked space on the right in their own half before Sadio Mane released Trent Alexander-Arnold, who subsequently picked out Luis Diaz for a tap-in.

Their second goal was even better as they retained possession and sliced through United with a one-touch passing move that culminated in an outrageous Mane reverse pass over the defence for Mohamed Salah to collect before slotting home.

But the lack of character their visitors showed was astonishing. Liverpool seemed to have the freedom of the pitch, they passed through midfield as if Nemanja Matic, Jesse Lingard and Bruno Fernandes weren't there. Players were walking.

United reached half-time without a single shot, a first in the league since April 2018. Granted, they went on to beat Manchester City 3-2 on that occasion... But even the suggestion that something similar might've been on the cards here would've drawn laughter.

Similarly galling was the fact United only committed two fouls in the first 45. Without wanting to sound like Roy Keane ("you know what I might do, I might smash into somebody, just to make me feel better!"), when being played off the park a degree of petulance is almost to be expected, but they couldn't even muster that level of frustration.

Things did change briefly after the interval. Rangnick ditched his back three and introduced Jadon Sancho, and suddenly United looked... functional. Players were running, they were hounding their counterparts. They had a shot, then a second. A whole two shots!

Jurgen Klopp stood aghast on the touchline in the 65th minute, his mouth gaping for a full 10 seconds after Alisson had to make two saves in quick succession – they didn't count technically in the stats because an offside was erroneously given, but the Brazilian undoubtedly denied a goal that would have been given by VAR had they scored.

But United's brief improvement said more about Liverpool's post-break drop-off, and they soon snapped out of it – three minutes later it was game over, if it wasn't already. Andrew Robertson made an interception ahead of Anthony Elanga, then Diaz's pinpoint cross was expertly turned in by Mane.

Salah completed the scoring late on with a deft finish that was helped by a slight deflection. While there was a hint of fortune, it ensured the scoreline greater reflected the Reds' dominance.

The nine goals United have conceded to Liverpool this season is the most they've ever shipped against one team in a single campaign. Their 9-0 aggregate loss to the Reds over 2021-22 is their worst to one opponent in the league since 1892-93. Yes, that's 1892, not a typo of 1992.

Much of the build-up to this was dominated by talk of club structures, recruitment and 'synergy', but honestly, fans will just hope Ten Hag can instil a bit of fight, assuming he's not run for the hills already.

The whole of Manchester United is behind Cristiano Ronaldo following the death of his baby son, says interim boss Ralf Rangnick. 

Ronaldo confirmed in a social media post on Monday that his baby son had passed away. 

He and his partner Georgina Rodriguez had been expecting twins. Their newborn daughter survived. 

Ronaldo was absent from United's Premier League meeting with Liverpool on Tuesday and Rangnick sent a message of support to the Portugal captain's family. 

"This is the worst thing that can happen. I'm the father of two sons myself, so I'm fully aware what that means," Rangnick told Sky Sports. 

"We're all behind him. We're all with him. We wish that him and his family are strong together." 

He added to the club's official media team: "It shows there are more important things in life than football. The whole club is with him. For me, it was clear that he was to be where he is now – with his family." 

United and Liverpool fans came together and applauded when the clock showed seven minutes in a show of support for Ronaldo.

Manchester United must improve their squad in all areas except the goalkeeper if they are to compete, according to Ralf Rangnick.

Rangnick was placed in interim charge at Old Trafford following the dismissal of club legend Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in late November, though United's fortunes are yet to significantly change for the better.

The Red Devils sit three points behind fourth-placed Tottenham and level with Arsenal, who have played a game fewer, in the race for Champions League football next season.

Qualifying for Europe remains the only way for United to salvage their campaign, after elimination from all the cup competitions and failure to challenge Manchester City and Liverpool in the Premier League.

The likes of Paul Pogba, Cristiano Ronaldo and Harry Maguire have all been regularly scrutinised with regard to the problems at United, and Rangnick believes wholesale investment is needed in the squad.

The German boss also suggested the next permanent managerial appointment, with Ajax coach Erik ten Hag widely expected to take charge, will be key for United in the transfer market.

"The players have to give their very best no matter who the next manager will be, and if he's announced in one or two or three weeks, I don't think that this affects the current situation we're in," he told Sky Sports.

"But yes, of course, it's important to know who will be the new manager, because to start the recruitment process, to find the best possible players only makes sense if you know who will be the manager and how does he want to play.

"There might be a couple of players – and I have already named those players to the board – that independent of formation, from style of football, and independent of a new manager, that could be of interest for a club like United.

"But in general, if you look at the size of the way the team needs to be rebuilt, I mean, it's not enough to bring in three or four new players. It will be more, bearing in mind how many players will no longer be here with the contracts running out."

David de Gea has been a rare bright spark for a below-par United side this season, and Rangnick believes the goalkeeper is the only position that does not warrant significant improvement.

"Yes, I think apart from the goalkeeping, we need to make sure that we improve the squad in all areas," he added. 

"To bring in players who really help the team to get better – again, it's about the profile. What kind of players do we need in order to play whichever kind of football we want to play?"

The former RB Leipzig head coach suggests United can learn from Liverpool, who they face on Tuesday at Anfield, regarding their investment and scouting.

"With Liverpool, it's clear why they are playing as aggressive as they do – it's since Jurgen [Klopp] arrived," he continued. 

"If you compare the squad that he inherited six years ago and compare it with the present, I think there are maybe four or five players still there.

"All the others signed since then have been signed exactly under those premises: how do we want to play? They have to be able and willing to run and sprint a lot. They have to be physical. They have to be technical. They have to be clinical. The profile for each position has been clear and that's why they are where they are.

"And here at Manchester United, this hasn't been the case with every change of manager. New players came in, but it was not under that pre-condition of how do we want to play, and this is for sure something that needs to be changed in the future, but this doesn't help us.

"Now we have to play with the players that we have available and get the best out of them. It will be difficult for us at Anfield. We know that we have to raise our level to the highest possible that we can.

"Our ambition is to win that game, and this is how we are going into it."

Manchester United must move away from having one manager run the club and instead appoint the "best possible head coach" with a skilled team around him.

That is according to Ralf Rangnick, who will take up a consultancy role at Old Trafford after his interim manager role at United concludes at the end of the season.

Ajax coach Erik ten Hag is widely expected as the next permanent appointment, but Rangnick believes wholesale change is needed behind the scenes to set up the club for future success.

The German oversaw transformative innovation during his time at Hoffenheim and the two Red-Bull owned clubs: RB Leipzig and Salzburg. However, he remains uneasy with the managerial approach in England.

There is a preference to have a managerial figure lead clubs, like Alex Ferguson at United, but Rangnick insists success comes from the teams around these bosses, such as the set-up behind Pep Guardiola at Manchester City and Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool.

"In Germany we have a head coach and then there is usually a minimum of two skilled people continuously in the club on a longer-term basis responsible for recruitment, scouting and any daily operation," Rangnick told Sky Sports News.

"They also bring in the right and best possible head coach for the team. This still hasn't got a big tradition here and so the job of a sporting director or director of football, only a few clubs have that.

"I know that for the future, and I think even more so for a big club like Manchester United, you can't put all those jobs and tasks and the whole responsibility only on the shoulder of one person – on the manager. I'm not sure if this can be dealt with by one person, no matter how good he is.

"I know Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea also have smart people who take care of recruitment, scouting, the medical department. 

"I think this is also an issue for our club, where they have to pay attention to."

Former Leipzig coach Rangnick will move into the background when Ten Hag, or any other manager, is appointed at United for next season.

Asked if he had offered the club any guidance, he said: "I've done that already after the first couple of weeks and regularly since then.

"I told the board members about what I have experienced so far and what I think are the important things we have to pay attention to and where we have to make sure that we maybe get better at.

"But right now my full focus is on the remaining six games that we have to play and that we hopefully play as successful as we can be. All the rest has to wait until the end of the season."

Jurgen Klopp urged Liverpool to fight for the "most important three points in your life" against Manchester United as the Reds aim to reach the Premier League summit.

Liverpool would, at least briefly, leapfrog Premier League leaders Manchester City with a draw at Anfield on Tuesday; Pep Guardiola's side are in action the next day against Brighton and Hove Albion.

Victory over United would move Klopp's side two points clear of reigning champions City, who suffered a 3-2 FA Cup semi-final defeat to Liverpool on Saturday to end their treble hopes.

United, meanwhile, have struggled once again this season and limped to a 3-2 victory over Norwich City last game, thanks to a Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick.

While uncertainty surrounds Old Trafford, with Ajax coach Erik ten Hag widely expected to be named the next permanent United manager, Klopp warned his side of the dangers Ralf Rangnick's visitors will pose.

"We have to be angry in a good way, greedy, all these kind of things, like you are if you have won nothing and would be with nil points and it's the most important three points in your life," said Klopp.

"That's the attitude we need for this game. If we let United do [what they want] they will cause us massive problems.

"We have to be in the right mood, the people have to be in the right mood to really be ready to fight for the three points and not want to show we are in a better moment than United. Who is interested about that?

"There are times when you have better moments than other teams then you get a knock and that's it with the better moment. Who cares?

"They want the three points we need. That's that attitude we have to show."

A 5-0 hammering by Liverpool at Old Trafford in the reverse fixture in October contributed to United legend Ole Gunnar Solskjaer being dismissed the following month, with Rangnick placed in interim charge.

Rangnick has been unable to significantly alter the fortunes of United, but thanks to slip-ups by Tottenham and Arsenal, the Red Devils sit just three points behind the Champions League qualification spots.

Klopp sympathises with his fellow German as he suggested there are no short-term solutions for major clubs.

"We had a similar situation when I started here," Klopp said. "We were not flying from the first day, let me say it like this, and you might have thought after six or seven weeks: 'Is it really much better than before?' 

"When you are in that situation, you just accept that you need all the steps. You cannot just put on a magic sprinkle and go from there.

"It is completely normal that expectations are always short-term, never long-term. You want the advantage now and forever, and not from five months on and forever. That is the problem we all have.

"That might be the situation there. But we don't face the team that has problems, we face Manchester United. The goalkeeper is world class, the last line absolute top, then [in midfield] I'm not sure if [Scott] McTominay and Fred can play and it might be [Paul] Pogba and [Nemanja] Matic.

"Then up front you can choose from [Jadon] Sancho, [Bruno] Fernandes, [Anthony] Elanga or [Marcus] Rashford. That's what we have to prepare for, not what happened last week."

Ralf Rangnick does not believe it will take "three or four years" for Manchester United to be back competing for the Premier League title, claiming the task ahead of the club "is not rocket science".

United head into Tuesday's game against Liverpool 19 points behind their rivals, who can move top of the table with a draw at Anfield.

The Red Devils have now not won the league in nine years since Alex Ferguson retired and have scarcely looked capable of troubling the genuine contenders.

This has been another difficult season and their future is far from certain, with United set to appoint a new manager – widely expected to be Erik ten Hag – in place of interim boss Rangnick at the end of the campaign.

But for all the pessimism around United's situation, Rangnick suggests it will not take a huge amount of work for the 20-time English champions to return to the top of the sport.

He cited Liverpool's turnaround under Jurgen Klopp as evidence of that.

"I don't think a club like Manchester United can afford to take three or four years in order to achieve that [competing for the title]," he said. "And I don't think that it is necessary.

"We spoke about Liverpool earlier on, how long it took for them.

"[It could happen] after two or three windows, if you know what you are looking for. If you don't know what, you'll always be looking for the needle in a haystack, but if you know what kind of football you want to play, what kind of profiles for each individual position, then it is about finding them. Not only finding them but convincing them to come.

"Liverpool at the time they finished eighth [in 2015-16]. The year after they didn't play [European] football at all, so the full focus in the second season of Jurgen was on the Premier League and the national cup competitions.

"Then it took, I don't know, two transfer windows. But even in the other transfer windows that came later on, they just made a lot of very, very good transfers and signings. This is what it's all about.

"It is not that complicated, it's not rocket science, but in order to have the best possible wind, you need to know where your destination haven is. If you don’t know that, it's always difficult."

Klopp ended Liverpool's 30-year wait for a title in 2019-20, but Rangnick believes the fix for United is too straightforward for them to endure a similar drought.

"[Thirty years] without a title? I suppose that this will not happen because it's pretty obvious what needs to be changed and that there needs to be a rebuild for the future," he said, "So I don't think that this will happen."

A lot of talk in recent weeks has centred around the burgeoning "rivalry" between Manchester City and Liverpool, with English football's two current leading lights doing battle on multiple fronts.

Liverpool got the better of City in the weekend's FA Cup semi-final, but they remain in a tussle for the Premier League title and could yet meet in a Champions League showdown – there's much to play for.

But while that rivalry has been borne out of competitiveness, the Liverpool matches that most – fans and neutrals alike – will continue to look out for are those with Manchester United.

Despite their historic successes and status as English football's most-successful teams, rarely in the modern era have they been competitive rivals like Liverpool are with City now – in fact, only once in the Premier League have the Reds and United finished as the top two. Invariably, if things are going well for one, the opposite is true for the other.

Ahead of Tuesday's clash at Anfield, the gulf is 19 points in the Premier League. Since Alex Ferguson's retirement, only once has there been a larger gap between the two ahead of their second meeting of the season.

After their 5-0 rout at Old Trafford in October, Liverpool are looking to complete the league double over United for the first time since 2013-14, while the Red Devils are winless in their last five league games at Anfield, netting just one goal in these matches. They last had a longer run without an away league win against their north west rivals between September 1970 and December 1979.

What makes the situation even worse for Ralf Rangnick's side is that it's difficult to escape from the idea that Liverpool are the club – in terms of how they're run and the success they're enjoying – that most United fans wish they were.

The template

Change is coming at Old Trafford. Whether it is for the better remains to be seen, but it would appear Erik ten Hag is set to be confirmed as United's next permanent manager in the coming weeks.

As highly rated as the Dutchman is, there is not masses of evidence to suggest anything will be better with him in charge. After all, under each of the four managers appointed in full-term roles since Ferguson, there are arguments to be made that they were not the biggest issue – rather, the club's hierarchy and decision-makers were.

Regardless of whether you agree with the decision or rate him as a coach, Rangnick's arrival as interim manager in November at least suggested United were attempting a cultural reset. Here was a "football man" with a track record of establishing certain processes and tactical setups at clubs coming in to potentially lay the groundwork for a rebuild.

But a lot of Rangnick's public advice to United has looked eerily like him pointing blatantly at Liverpool and saying: "Them, look at them. That's how you run a football club."

Klopp's arrival in 2015 was undoubtedly momentous. Liverpool had already shown promising signs in terms of their forward-thinking approach when initially hiring his predecessor Brendan Rodgers, as all the names reported to be on their shortlist when the current Leicester City boss got the job were coaches who had similar tactical outlooks, were young and spoke of the importance of "philosophies" or "projects".

A two-time Bundesliga-winning Klopp was, of course, a coach of an altogether different calibre. Their choice at the time was apparently between him and Carlo Ancelotti, but the fact they went for the German was by no means surprising. For one, the brand of football he was going to implement was hardly going to be a polar opposite of that employed by Rodgers, while he always appeared a far greater fit culturally than the Italian.

Klopp's arrival was seen as a coup. Let's not forget, in October 2015 Liverpool weren't exactly considered among the "elite". Historically, sure, but not competitively at that moment.

They went on to finish eighth in the Premier League, averaging 1.6 points per game – over Klopp's entire Premier League career, he's collected 2.1 per game, highlighting just how much of an improvement he's presided over.

While difficult to pinpoint one key factor, Rangnick was unequivocal in his surmising of his compatriot's situation on Monday, saying: "The same happened at other clubs. When he came to Borussia Dortmund or when he started his coaching career at Mainz, he developed all of those clubs, he raised the whole team and club to a different kind of level. This is what modern management is all about. He's one of the best, if not the best coach, not only now but in the past couple of years.

"If this should be a role model, I don't know. It's definitely no coincidence what's happened there in the last six years. In his first year, when he came during the season after eight or nine games and they finished eighth, and thereafter they just made the necessary adaptations. They brought in the right players, they got rid of the right players, they just built, they really built a squad and that's why they are where they are."

Patience is a virtue

Klopp's success at Liverpool isn't something that United can copy and paste. Even if the Reds' club setup is married to the coach's managerial style, the man in charge still needs to be very, very good at his job.

Ten Hag has done well at Ajax. He's taken them to a Champions League semi-final, played attractive football and looks likely to win a second Eredivisie title – but they have a club-wide 'philosophy' that the head coach must work within, rather than establish himself. United do not, as highlighted by the hotch-potch of tactical styles embraced with David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and even Rangnick.

As such, the current squad has been assembled by Ferguson and his four successors, which hardly screams cohesion. Granted, one coach building a squad in its entirety is rare given how quickly clubs are to chop and change these days, but of Liverpool's first-choice XI, only Jordan Henderson was not brought to the club – or nurtured through the academy – during Klopp's reign.

United's appointment of John Murtough as football director and Darren Fletcher as technical director at least hinted at the club being brought out of the dark ages in terms of its structure, while many in the fanbase will have seen Ed Woodward's departure at the end of 2021 as a positive step.

The jury is still out on this new-look setup, though there is seemingly now something more closely resembling Liverpool's so-called "transfer committee". Indeed, that term is a bit of a blast from the past – it was once something you would regularly hear mentioned and sneered at during Rodgers' reign and early on in Klopp's spell, but Liverpool's undoubted success in terms of recruitment over the past six years speaks for itself.

Ten Hag will represent a gamble for United, but – assuming he does take the job – he will also be arguably the first up-and-coming manager to be appointed by the club since Ferguson. The Dutchman's is only two years Klopp's junior but is definitely on the rise reputationally.

No one knows if he'll be a success and, to be fair, he will need to justify patience to a degree. But time, trust and joint-up thinking have clearly been vital to Liverpool with Klopp – if United do truly value Rangnick's input, they would do well to heed his advice here.

Ralf Rangnick sent a pointed message to the Manchester United board regarding their search for a new manager as he insisted the success of Liverpool under Jurgen Klopp has been no coincidence.

United travel to Anfield on Tuesday trailing the Reds by 19 points in the Premier League, with Liverpool once again challenging for the title while the Red Devils appear in danger of missing out on the top four altogether.

This is the third time since Klopp's late-2015 arrival that Liverpool have battled for the title, having narrowly missed out – but won the Champions League – in 2018-19 and then ended their 30-year wait for a league championship in 2019-20.

In 2021-22 they could yet win an unprecedented quadruple: the EFL Cup trophy is already theirs, they are into the FA Cup final and Champions League semis, and Manchester City have just a one-point lead over them in the top flight.

Rangnick, considered something of a mentor to Klopp earlier in his career, was hired as United's interim manager in November last year following the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, with the German's reputation of establishing new processes and tactical setups at other clubs seemingly marking him out as a someone who could lay the groundwork for a rebuild before moving into a consultancy role.

His period in charge of the team cannot yet be considered a success given their largely disappointing form, but ahead of Tuesday's trip to Anfield, Rangnick was given another opportunity to outline what he thinks can bring success, and Liverpool remain a clear example after allowing Klopp time to establish himself and his ideas.

Asked if the relationship between Klopp and Liverpool was a "template" to follow, Rangnick told reporters: "The same happened at other clubs, like when he was at Borussia Dortmund or when he started his coaching career with Mainz.

"He developed all those clubs and developed those teams – not just the team, the whole club – to a different level, and this is what management is all about.

"He's no doubt one of the best, if not the best coach, not only now but in the past couple years. If this is a role model, I don't know, but it's definitely again no coincidence what's happened there in the last six years.

"In his first year when he came there after eight or nine games I think, they finished eighth at the end with a point average of 1.6, and thereafter they just made the necessary adaptations.

"They brought in the right players, got rid of the right players, they just built. They really built a squad and that's why they are where they are."

The links between Rangnick and Klopp are plentiful, with another obvious one being the number of players in the current Liverpool squad who have previously played for clubs where the former once held significant influence.

Ibrahima Konate, Sadio Mane, Takumi Minamino and Naby Keita all played for or signed from Red Bull-owned clubs; Roberto Firmino joined from Hoffenheim; and Joel Matip played under Rangnick at Schalke.

In Rangnick's eyes, Klopp's tendency to go for such players is evidence of their similar tactical preferences, but beyond that it also suggests a recruitment strategy that matches up with the manager's style, something United have often been criticised for routinely getting wrong over the past decade.

"I didn't say how much influence I had on those players, but it's pretty obvious that a big club like Liverpool, one of the best in Europe for the last few years, that they have six former players of us – either Schalke, Hoffenheim, Salzburg or [RB] Leipzig," he continued.

"It's probably the highest number of players that nobody knew at the time we signed them, or gave them their debuts.

"This obviously has something to do with a similar idea of football. Jurgen and I have known each other for a long time, I know how he wants to play and having six players from former clubs of mine is obviously not a coincidence."

Bruno Fernandes is uninjured and available to face Liverpool despite being involved in a car crash on the way to training, Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick has confirmed.

Photographs posted to social media on Monday appeared to show Fernandes examining the damage to his Porsche after an apparent collision with another vehicle that morning.

Reports at the time suggested there were no injuries to anyone involved and Fernandes was still expected to train as normal ahead of Tuesday's trip to Anfield.

Rangnick confirmed at his pre-match news conference that the playmaker was unscathed and should be fine to face the Reds.

He told reporters: "Yes, he was in training with the team.

"Obviously the accident happened on the way to Carrington [United's training base]. As far as I know, no one was injured.

"He trained with the team and he was okay, and that's why I think he will also be okay for [the game]."

United will be hoping to dent Liverpool's quadruple hopes on Tuesday while simultaneously boosting their own chances of a top-four finish.


Jurgen Klopp revealed he has not spoken with Ralf Rangnick since his appointment as Manchester United's interim manager.

Rangnick is a hugely influential figure in German football, employing a similar high-pressing style to that which made Klopp a success with Mainz, Borussia Dortmund and now Liverpool.

The pair are now on opposite sides of English football's biggest rivalry, though, with Klopp's quadruple-chasing Liverpool set to host United on Tuesday.

It will be the 14th meeting between the two coaches, with Klopp winning only two of the prior 13, losing five and drawing the other six.

Asked how his relationship with Rangnick was ahead of the match at Anfield, Klopp replied: "On hold.

"No, we didn't have contact since he was at United. I think that's mutual respect. I respect his job; he respects my job.

"I cannot make it a Klopp-Rangnick or Rangnick-Klopp game, I don't want to. I respect him for everything he did during his career – he did incredible jobs wherever he was.

"He took a difficult one at United, that's clear. There's big expectations with these things, big expectations but no time to get there. In our business, it's like this.

"You can see the changes he made and the parts he improved, but that's it. When I prepared the United game, I didn't think about Ralf in that moment. You watch the games and you prepare for this team.

"It's not about Ralf or me; it's a very important football game, a very, very important football game. The managers probably will not score the decisive goal."

This has been a difficult season for United, with Rangnick set to be replaced by a permanent appointment at the end of the campaign. Erik ten Hag is the favourite.

But United have still earned 33 points in Rangnick's 18 Premier League games in charge, the fourth-most in the division in that time. Liverpool and Manchester City are tied at the top of that table on 42 points.

"United played some really, really good games [under Rangnick]," Klopp added, "but because it's United, even when you win the games, it's 'but that's still not there, it's not like this'.

"It's difficult to gain some momentum, I can imagine."

Ralf Rangnick has described the evolution of Liverpool under Jurgen Klopp as "no coincidence" – because his own career has involved developing a number of their key talents.

The Manchester United interim boss, whose future beyond the end of this season appears unclear, can point to a host of Liverpool players and say he had an important role in their careers.

Rangnick, 63, is regarded as one of football's best strategists, and during his various roles with the Red Bull group, which includes RB Leipzig and Salzburg, he helped to bring through the likes of Naby Keita, Ibrahima Konate, Sadio Mane and Takumi Minamino.

Before that, he was coach when Hoffenheim signed Roberto Firmino from Figueirense, albeit leaving within weeks of that deal being agreed, while Rangnick coached Joel Matip at Schalke.

It is remarkable, therefore, that Rangnick has ended up in charge of Liverpool's most fierce rivals, whom United will face at Anfield in the Premier League on Tuesday.

"They are good, they are extremely good. It's no coincidence that they're as good as they are," Rangnick said of Liverpool.

"Jurgen has built that team over the last six and a half years. Six or seven of those players used to be my – or our – players."

Klopp's Liverpool play a similar high-tempo game to the Leipzig and Salzburg teams that Rangnick oversaw, meaning the players acquired have been a natural fit for Klopp's Reds.

"We signed them for our clubs when nobody knew them," said Rangnick, "and again it's no coincidence that this is probably the club with the highest number of players from our former clubs.

"Their approach, their style of football, the way they want to play is pretty similar."

Rangnick's United side beat Norwich City 3-2 on Saturday in the Premier League thanks to a Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick, and it vaulted them to fifth place in the table.

That treble papered over some rather major cracks, however, and Rangnick warned afterwards there would need to be a big improvement against Liverpool.

United were chaotic at times, particularly in defence, and Rangnick said: "Even the reason why the club contacted me in November was the fact we just conceded too many goals too easily.

"We reduced the number of goals conceded, but the way that we defend is still not the standard we need in order to be a top-four club."

Ralf Rangnick says Manchester United cannot afford to rely solely on Cristiano Ronaldo despite his match-winning hat-trick against Norwich City.

Ronaldo hit the 50th treble of his club career against the Canaries, guiding United into a 2-0 lead before sealing the victory with a free kick after the visitors had fought back to level the contest.

The legendary forward has hit 15 goals in 26 Premier League appearances this season, accounting for 28.8 per cent of the Red Devils' goals during a frustrating campaign.

Despite Ronaldo's treble moving United to within three points of fourth-placed Tottenham after both they and north London rivals Arsenal suffered surprise defeats, Rangnick was frustrated by his team's continued reliance on the 37-year-old.

The interim manager also expressed his annoyance at United's defensive display after Keiran Dowell and Teemu Pukki's strikes threatened a stunning turnaround at Old Trafford.

"It was the second time now [that Ronaldo hit a match-winning treble] like against Spurs with the same result, 3-2 like today," Rangnick told BBC Sport.

"But we should not only rely on him. 

"In general, offensively at times we played pretty well at times today, although in the first half sometimes we slowed the game down and didn't make use of the overlap situations on the wings, so even there we could have made more out of it.

"In general, in possession today was okay, a pretty good game, but defensively I was not happy at all."

Ronaldo has now hit 20 or more goals in all competitions in each of his past 16 club seasons, a run which began in 2006-07 during his previous spell at Old Trafford.

Meanwhile, his set-piece winner represented the 58th direct free-kick goal of his career, and means only David Beckham (18) and James Ward-Prowse (13) have more such goals in the Premier League.

United's quest for Champions League qualification sees them face tough-looking fixtures against Liverpool and Arsenal during the coming week, and Rangnick asserted that his side would not get away with another poor defensive performance against a higher quality of opponent.

"After we scored the second goal, it should have made life easier for us," he added. "But it didn't, we lost our structure, we weren't aggressive enough. 

"Even before they scored their first goal, they had two or three transitional moments where they outnumbered us, which should not happen if you are 2-0 up.

"This is also a question of being clever, of being smart in moments like this. All of a sudden, it was 2-2 and David de Gea kept us in the game with a brilliant save, and with that brilliant free-kick from Cristiano we managed to get the three points.

"But we have to raise our game against the ball in the next three games."

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