Ralf Rangnick says his consultancy role at Manchester United will see him focus on recruitment and has highlighted the need for the Red Devils to target younger players in the upcoming transfer window.
Rangnick will step aside from his interim manager role at the end of this season, with Ajax boss Erik ten Hag taking over at the end of a difficult campaign in which United look certain to miss out on Champions League qualification.
It was confirmed on Friday that Rangnick is taking over as head coach of the Austrian national team, although he remains committed to his new role with the Red Devils.
Rangnick said his position will see him focus on recruiting young, talented players who can help Ten Hag's United develop into one of European football's leading sides.
The 63-year-old namechecked Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland, whom he helped bring to Salzburg, as an example of the profile of player the Red Devils must target, and stressed he is "positive" about the team's future under "one of the best coaches in Europe" in Ten Hag.
"For me the most important bit is recruitment now, this is, for me, the most vital point, that we bring in the best possible players," he said.
"It's not only about identifying those players, also meeting them, convincing them to join this club even though we will not be playing in the Champions League.
"This is what I see as the most important bit, also with regard to top talented players for the academy, identifying those players. This is for me, for the next one or two years, an important part. My personal opinion is the club should try to find future top star players and try to develop them.
"Haaland is a young player, but on the other hand, he has developed in the last two years into one of the most expensive strikers in the world. He could be of one of those examples where the focus should be, to identify and find players who could be Manchester United players for the next couple of years.
"We just need to look at the other top clubs in England and in some other countries, what kind of players did they sign in the past? I think then you get the answer yourself.
"I'm positive. With Erik ten Hag, Manchester United will have one of the best coaches in Europe, and then it's about, together with him, recruitment. If those things come together, I'm very positive you can see a different kind of team with a different style of football."
Ralf: "I will take over as national team manager of Austria at the end of the season, but will continue my consultancy with Manchester United.— Manchester United (@ManUtd) April 29, 2022
"I’m really looking forward to playing my part in helping United become a real force again."#MUFC pic.twitter.com/DmXJJuY55v
Meanwhile, with a host of out-of-contract players likely to depart Old Trafford at the end of the campaign, including Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata, and Edinson Cavani, Rangnick said the Red Devils will require "quite a few" new signings to compete next term, but insisted Old Trafford remains a desirable destination for players.
"It's obvious that the club and the team needs more players, some players are out of contract, some are not available anymore, and some might want to get more game time [elsewhere]," he added.
"The club needs quite a few new players. For me, it's important the club recruits those kind of players that can help Manchester United develop into one of the top teams again.
"As a club, with regard to the supporters, the stadium, the training ground, yes, it definitely is [still a club players would want to join].
"But we also have to be realistic, as soon as other clubs like Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City are involved, then you need some good reasons to explain to the players [why they should join]."
United play their final home game of the Premier League season against Brentford on Monday, their first home clash with the Bees in any competition since a 2-1 League Cup win in September 1975.