Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick said that his request for a striker at the end of the January transfer window was turned down by the club despite the Old Trafford side losing Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood during that period.
Martial joined Sevilla on loan while Greenwood was suspended by the club in January following his arrest on suspicion of rape, assault and threats to kill.
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Rangnick said that Porto‘s Luis Diaz, River Plate forward Julian Alvarez and Fiorentina‘s Dusan Vlahovic were on his wishlist but added the club failed to act in the transfer market.
“The answer at the time was there was no player on the market that could really help us — there were a few,” Rangnick told reporters ahead of Saturday’s league trip to Brighton.
“Diaz, who is now at Liverpool, Alvarez who will be at Manchester City in the summer, Vlahovic who at the time still was with Fiorentina. Those are just three of them that come across my mind now.
“We had four days off at the time and on the Sunday I was informed about the issues with Mason Greenwood and obviously Anthony Martial had already left and then I was aware that within four days we had some strikers missing and it might make sense, we were still in three competitions — Champions League, FA Cup and fourth in the league but that’s the past and it doesn’t help us anymore.”
Diaz has since joined Liverpool and flourished while Vlahovic has moved to Juventus and Alvarez will play for champions Manchester City next season.
“I spoke to the board and said shouldn’t we at least speak and try and analyse if we could get a player either on loan or as a permanent deal, but in the end the answer was no,” Rangnick added.
“I still believe that we should have at least tried, if we would’ve found and been able in 48 hours, 48 hours is short notice but it’s still 48 hours, it might have been worth to try and internally discuss but we didn’t and it was not done.”
United have been reliant on Cristiano Ronaldo for goals — 24 in all competitions — this season, with Edinson Cavani‘s game time limited due to injury and Marcus Rashford struggling for form.
United, who will welcome Erik ten Hag as their permanent manager in the summer, are sixth in the league, five points off the last Champions League spot with two games to play.