Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick said his main focus as a consultant at the Premier League club would be recruitment, adding that it should target top young players like Erling Haaland.

Rangnick, who was appointed as the Austrian national team coach on a two-year deal on Friday, will stay on in a consultancy role at United once his tenure as manager comes to an end after the current season.

“For me the most important bit is recruitment. That is the most vital point, that we bring in the best possible players,” Rangnick told reporters when asked to clarify his responsibilities as consultant.

“It is not only about identifying those players but also meeting them and convincing them to join this club, even though we are not in the Champions League. As a club with these supporters, the stadium, quality of training ground, I would say (United can attract top players), but as soon as other clubs like Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City are involved you need some good reasons.”

Rangnick added that United needed to target young talent, pointing to Borussia Dortmund striker Haaland as an example.

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“My opinion is the club should try to find future top players and try to develop them,” Rangnick said. “Haaland is 21, this is one of those players. He has developed into one of the most expensive strikers in the world. He would be one of those examples I think the emphasis should be on, that we should try and convince players who should be Manchester United players for the next years.”

The German said that winger Jadon Sancho is unlikely to play in United’s home game against Brentford on Monday as he continues to struggle with tonsillitis, adding that the England international’s season might be over if the issue continues. “He will most likely be unavailable against Brentford,” Rangnick said. “(It is) another three weeks to go against Crystal Palace. But for the next two games, I think it is unlikely (that Sancho will play).

“He’s got inflammation on his tonsils and has also had some high temperatures so that’s why … he will most certainly not be available for the next two matches. Hopefully, they can get hold of that inflammation and if his tonsils have to be removed, that can happen at the end of the season.”

United, which is sixth in the table, will be looking to keep its hopes of finishing in the top four alive when it hosts 12th-placed Brentford.

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