Manchester United passed up the chance to sign Julian Alvarez when he was offered to top clubs last January, according to Fabrizio Romano.

The Italian reporter says Ralf Rangnick was furious with Man Utd and their strategy last winter, with the club board seemingly determined not to make any signings.

Alvarez, however, was available, and ended up going to Manchester City instead, with the highly-rated young Argentine now looking like developing into a superb player under the expert guidance of Pep Guardiola.

The Red Devils could surely have done with improving their attack with a forward like that, so it’s little surprise Romano says Rangnick was not at all happy with the situation.

“The 2023 January transfer window will be an important one for the club’s project, but for it to be a success they need to learn from the mistakes of last year,” Romano said.

Julian Alvarez in action for Manchester City

“The mistake was clear: Ralf Rangnick, who was at that time interim manager and preparing to become a consultant to work with the board and with Erik ten Hag, was furious with Man United because they didn’t want to sign any players last January. They had some opportunities, but they didn’t want to sign a striker, specifically.

“Julian Alvarez was of one of those players – he was offered to United and other clubs, he had a release clause, and was a player Rangnick had on his list at Lokomotiv Moscow. In the end, Man United decided not to proceed, and now Man City have this really good striker, for the present and the future.”

United will no doubt need to avoid this strategy this year, with the upcoming winter window likely to be another useful opportunity for them to strengthen, even if doing so in the summer is usually preferable.

Romano uses the example of Liverpool, who were more alert than United last January and ensured they moved quickly so as not to miss out on the signing of Luis Diaz, who has proven a major hit at Anfield.

“We’ve also heard a lot about Luis Diaz being wanted by Tottenham and West Ham, before Liverpool hijacked the deal and changed the story in 48 hours, signing one of the best players in the Premier League right now. United were not reacting, and missed important opportunities, and so Rangnick was furious at the lack of activity,” Romano added.

“Liverpool’s plan was initially to sign Luis Diaz in the summer, but because of the interest from Tottenham they decided to push immediately. Liverpool were really fast, and it’s important to have that kind of structure. United need to make that one of their missions if they want to make this new era a success.”

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