Manchester United are in ‘further pain’ as Paul Scholes calls for a ‘high profile manager’ in place of Ralf Rangnick

Paul Scholes watched as Manchester United were knocked out of the Champions League round of 16 by Atletico Madrid before declaring Ralf Rangnick was not the manager who would take the club forward next season and insisting the Red Devils should be able to poach anyone they wanted from other clubs.

A lone first-half header from Renan Lodi was enough to see Atleti through and leave United without silverware for another season, with interim boss Rangnick all but certain of bringing United back into the competition for next season.

They currently sit fifth in the Premier League table, having played three more games than fourth-placed Arsenal.

Scholes, who claimed United “would have come through” had Atletico manager Diego Simeone been in the other dugout, criticized Rangnick’s influence and felt there was no end in sight to a difficult period for a club that had been before only success during his own playing days.

“I don’t know how he was chosen to be the manager of this club,” said Scholes.

“We’ve had a lot of pain and I think there’s more to come before we get back to where we want to be.

“I keep saying it, I don’t like talking about people behind the scenes, but until we have a proper, top-flight, elite coach from another football club who wins trophies and instills fear in the players…[United won’t return to the top].”

Scholes, along with fellow pundits and ex-United players Rio Ferdinand and Owen Hargreaves, reiterated his feeling that the squad at Old Trafford has enough fundamental quality to be closer to winning trophies.

But key to getting the best out of them was finding the right manager to lead the way – yet according to Scholes, United appear even further away from that eventuality, if anything.

“Getting a proper coach for this team is a massive thing. There is some real talent in this squad.

“The very first thing this club needs to do to even come close to winning the league again is find a proper coach to work for this team.

“There are no signs United are even close [challenging for the title]. It feels like we’re going in the opposite direction.”

Ferdinand, sitting next to his former team-mate, added that the example set by United’s rivals Liverpool had shown that even if the next appointment as manager proved spot on, it would take time for success to follow.

“[Jurgen] It took Klopp about four years to win the Premier League but you could see along the way there was improvement and you could see “we’re backing the right horse here”.

“Man United have to get to this point. Once you have the manager in place, the right person, you talk at least two or three years before you can think about a challenge.”

Ferdinand also disagreed with Scholes that United could appoint any manager from another club they wanted.

Mauricio Pochettino and Erik ten Hag have both been heavily linked with the post this summer – but both also exited the Champions League in the round of 16 last week, with PSG losing to Real Madrid in dramatic fashion before Ajax lost on home soil to Benfica same time as United’s own disappointment against Atletico. Manchester United are in ‘further pain’ as Paul Scholes calls for a ‘high profile manager’ in place of Ralf Rangnick

Andrew Schnitker

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