Former Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick has revealed six transfer targets he discussed with the club in the 2022 January transfer window. But despite two names being ‘realistic’ options, the Red Devils decided against backing Rangnick to ‘build under the new coach’ during his miserable tenure.
Interestingly, all six players Rangnick was interested in bolstering his ranks with have already moved clubs this year or are expected to complete a big-money transfer in 2023. Express Sport runs through the names, delving into where they are now or what could be on the horizon.
Josko Gvardiol has emerged as one of Europe’s most exciting young centre-backs, and Rangnick was ahead of the curve in attempting to sign him from his former club RB Leipzig. Chelsea saw a £77million bid rejected in the summer as Erik ten Hag instead opted for a £57m deal for Lisandro Martinez. Gvardiol will be coveted once more at the end of the season, but United will be delighted with Martinez’s start to life at Old Trafford.
After Mason Greenwood’s suspension, attacking depth was scarce at United last season, and Rangnick was crying out for January reinforcements. One player he wanted was FC Porto left-winger Luis Diaz, who Liverpool were hailed for capturing in a £50m move in the same transfer window. Diaz impressively adapted to the Premier League and helped the Reds challenge for the quadruple.
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Christopher Nkunku’s incredible 2021/22 exploits were a little less under the radar than Diaz’s, and Rangnick was keen to snatch him from Leipzig. The dynamic French forward is now expected to join Chelsea next summer, who are reportedly willing to splash more than his £52m release clause to beat the competition for his signature.
Rangnick has also admitted he was keen on Dusan Vlahovic after he burst onto the scene at Fiorentina. He joined Juventus in the same transfer window but has endured a difficult start to life in Turin and could be available by the time Ten Hag eyes a new striker next summer.
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Alvaro Morata was also thrown into the mix, likely as a cheap alternative if United weren’t willing to spend big on a long-term solution. The former Chelsea striker was on loan at Juventus and is now back at Atletico Madrid. It’s unlikely he’ll be the player United pick to replace Cristiano Ronaldo next year.
Last but certainly not least, Rangnick claimed he had urged United to sign Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund when he was still available, as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer did when he was at Molde. But bitter rivals Manchester City swooped in to complete a summer deal, and, well, it’s fair to say that couldn’t have had a worse impact on the Red Devils and the rest of the Premier League…
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