Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick says up to 10 new players are needed for the club’s impending rebuild after Tuesday’s “humiliating” 4-0 thrashing at Liverpool.
Rangnick admitted “it is extremely embarrassing for me as a coach to have press conferences like this one” as he addressed the media after United’s supine performance at Anfield.
“It’s embarrassing, it’s disappointing, maybe even humiliating,” Rangnick said. “We have to accept Liverpool are six years ahead of us now.
“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.”
The German, who is to take a two-year advisory role come the end of the season, warned big changes are afoot at Old Trafford ahead of the expected arrival of new boss Erik ten Hag.
“There will be a rebuild for sure but that does not help us when we still have five games to play,” said Rangnick, with United still three points off fourth-placed Tottenham, having played a game more.
“If you analyze the situation it is not difficult to analyze. For me, it is clear there will be six, seven, eight, maybe ten new players. Before you sign those players you need to be aware how you want to play.”
Sky Sports pundit Roy Keane said the lack of passion from United came as no surprise with three of the matchday squad – Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard and Nemanja Matic – out of contract at the end of the season and others expected to leave.
But Rangnick insists the squad were fully aware of the importance of the rivalry with Liverpool and focused on their need for points in the push for the top four.
The German says “right now we are not good enough to get points against Liverpool” as United finish the season with a cumulative 9-0 defeat against their fiercest rivals.
“I do not think we have checked out, they are just better than us,” he said. “They have 25 Formula One racing cars in their squad.
“I do not think it makes sense to speculate about our chances of making the top four after a performance like today.”
Klopp: I’m not here to humiliate opponents, they will strike back
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool fans can enjoy their dominance over Manchester United, but warns it will “not last forever” as he revealed in another “outstanding” performance by his title-chasers.
Klopp felt his side took full advantage of United’s struggles in midfield, with injuries to Fred and Scott McTominay, which only got worse when Paul Pogba came off with a problem early in the first half.
But Klopp was full of praise for his side’s work ethic as they moved to the top of the league and two points ahead of Manchester City, who have a game in hand on the Reds.
“I am not here to humiliate opponents. We did what we had to do,” he said.
“They played without their center midfielders and when you are in a difficult situation like United before the game, Paul (Pogba) has to go off and it is not easy to play against us.
“Nine-nil? I’m not interested in that. It’s something for the supporters if they want to celebrate. I know it will not last forever, they will strike back.”
After seven minutes at Anfield, both sets of supporters applauded in tribute to Cristiano Ronaldo and his family following the death of one of his baby twins on Monday.
“Pure class in the moment where everyone knows since yesterday, so many things are much more important in life. That was my moment of the game,” added Klopp.
“But other football moments, outstanding yes, Luis set up Sadio, Diogo (Jota) came on, Thiago played a good game.
“Nothing to moan about, we do not take these things for granted. If our counter-pressing was not as sensational as it was tonight, I think United could have had a much better game.”
Liverpool’s next assignment comes in the Premier League where they will face Merseyside rivals Everton, live on Sky Sports; kick-off 4.30pm.
Up next for Manchester United is a trip to the Emirates Stadium to face top-four rivals Arsenal; kick-off 12.30pm.