Manchester United interim boss Ralf Rangnick backed new manager Erik ten Hag to succeed in the job, saying on Friday that there was enough evidence from the Dutchman’s previous roles that he can improve the inconsistent Premier League side.

United on Thursday announced Ten Hag as its new manager to succeed Rangnick from the end of this season, with the 52-year-old Ajax Amsterdam coach signing a three-year deal until June 2025 with an option for a one-year extension.

Ten Hag is the fifth permanent boss to be appointed by United since Alex Ferguson retired in 2013, following David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and will arrive following a trophy-laden spell with Ajax.

“We don’t know each other in person but from what I’ve seen of him with Bayern Munich (reserve team) and Ajax now, I like his football,” Rangnick told reporters before Saturday’s league meeting with Arsenal.

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“I’m pretty positive with a full pre-season and having the chance to build and mould his own staff with a new team, we’ll see a different team and improvement on the pitch.

“I knew he was a candidate and told the board from what I had seen that he would be a good choice.”

United is sixth in the league with 54 points from 33 games, three points and a spot behind Arsenal, which has a game in hand.

Rangnick, who was appointed in November until the end of the season with an agreement for a further two years as consultant, said he was focused on helping United in its last five games.

He added that questions on recruitment for next season were best left to the board, but suggested that a significant rebuild may be on the cards.

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“It’s obvious there are a few players whose contracts are expiring. Some of them are on loan… If Erik asks me my opinion I will speak about my experience,” Rangnick said.

“On the other hand, he’ll also have his own ideas.”

Midfielder Scott McTominay and defender Raphael Varane will return following injuries, while forward Cristiano Ronaldo is also available after missing the 4-0 defeat by Liverpool following the passing away of his newborn son.

Paul Pogba, who sustained an injury during the match, is set to miss the remainder of the season.

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