There needs to be a complete overhaul at Manchester United this summer if they are to compete at the top end of the Premier League again, according to interim boss Ralf Rangnick.
The German believes four signings “is not enough” to revive an under-performing side that have not won the title since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013.
The Red Devils are currently fifth in the table, three points behind fourth-placed Tottenham, going into Tuesday’s match against Liverpool at Anfield.
What did Rangnick say?
Rangnick is due to take up a two-year consultancy role at Old Trafford at the end of the season, with Ajax boss Erik ten Hag expected to be confirmed as new permanent manager in the coming days.
The former RB Leipzig boss believes Ten Hag’s arrival will bring some much-needed stability to the club, though he denies the uncertainty surrounding the manager’s position has negatively impacted the team.
"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.”
Rangnick believes confirmation of a permanent manager, with his own vision and defined style of play, is an important first step in the club’s rebuild.
However, he has warned the board that mere tweaks to the squad are not enough, with major surgery needed in order to become an elite side again.
"There might be a couple of players - and I have already named those players to the board - that independent from formation, from style of football, and independent from a new manager, that could be of interest for a club like United,” he added.
“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.
"I think apart from the goalkeeping, we need to make sure that we improve the squad in all areas. 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 bigger picture
The scale of the task facing the new permanent United manager is significant, with a host of players out of contract while others are struggling to justify their hefty transfer fees.
Midfield is a particular area of concern, with Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic, Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard all set to leave on free transfers when their contracts expire in the summer.
Up front the futures of Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Edinson Cavani are uncertain, while in defence Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof, Alex Telles, Eric Bailly and Luke Shaw have often flattered to deceive.