Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd transfers: Five top talents to have played under Nagelsmann and could follow him to Old Trafford

Ryan Baldi
Joshua Kimmich, Serge Gnabry

Joshua Kimmich, Serge Gnabry could follow Nagelsmann to Man Utd

As doubts remain over whether Erik ten Hag will continue as Manchester United manager next season, there are growing whispers around who the club’s minority shareholder Sir Jim Ratcliffe and his INEOS group will select to replace the Dutchman if they decide a change is needed.

According to The Independent, Germany boss Julian Nagelsmann is “of increasing interest” to United’s new decision-makers, who have already begun a backroom overhaul at Old Trafford.

The 36-year-old former Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig manager is widely regarded as one of the brightest tacticians in Europe and already has a Bundesliga title under his belt from his time in charge at the Allianz Arena.

If Nagelsmann is United’s top choice to lead them into their INEOS era, here are five players he has previously worked with whom he could target upon assuming the Old Trafford hot seat.

Joshua Kimmich

With his contract about to enter its final year and no sign of an imminent renewal, it appears increasingly likely that Joshua Kimmich could leave Bayern Munich in the near future.

Given his expected availability, the 29-year-old could be a perfect target for United under Nagelsmann. The manager has worked with Kimmich both at Bayern and with Germany, so he will be well aware of the value the versatile midfielder offers.

What’s more, with doubts over Casemiro’s long-term future with the 20-time champions, Kimmich’s empierce and quality at the base of midfield would make him an ideal partner for 18-year-old sensation Kobbie Mainoo.

Plus, the former RB Leipzig star’s ability to fill in at right-back would be a valuable asset if United were to be struck as severely by the injury bug as they have been this season under Ten Hag.

Dani Olmo

Already linked with a move to United this summer, Olmo would be a suitable fit for how Nageslmann would reimagine the Red Devils’ attack.

The Barcelona academy graduate has the versatility to play anywhere along the second line of attack or even as a false nine. A gifted dribbler and direct runner in behind defences, the 25-year-old RB Leipzig player is a regular goal threat as either scorer or creator and is already a proven performer at the Champions League level.

The Spain international worked with Nagelsmann at the Red Bull Arena, scoring 13 goals and providing 12 assists in 61 appearances under the German coach.

Olmo signed a new contract with RBL last year that reportedly contains a £51 million release clause that will activate this summer. United are believed to face rival interest from Chelsea, Tottenham and Barcelona, but according to Spanish journalist Rodrigo Faez, the 33-cap La Roja star could see himself in Manchester.

“He likes Manchester, he likes the city and the English lifestyle,” Faez told MUFCMPB.

“It will depend on Barcelona and other linked clubs, but I think he is more fit for the Premier League game style than La Liga.”

Dayot Upamecano

Joshua Kimmich of Bayern Muenchen Dayot Upamecano of FC Bayern Muenchen

Ratcliffe and co. have reportedly identified centre-back as a position in need of urgent reinforcement for this summer’s transfer market, with Raphael Varane set to leave as a free agent. Bayern defender Dayot Upamecano is believed to be a United target.

The 25-year-old France international has won two Bundesliga titles since moving to the Allianz arena from RB Leipzig in a £37 million deal in 2022.

But now, according to SportBild journalist Tobi Altschaffl, Upamecano is growing frustrated with his reduced role under Thomas Tuchel.

There’s not yet any indication that Upamecano will try to force an exit from Bayern this summer, but United make an obvious fit for his services if he becomes available – especially if Nagelsmann is in charge.

Nagelsmann worked with Upamecano both at Bayern and Leipzig. The 151 appearances the Frenchman made across those two spells is more than any other player the manager has worked with.

Benjamin Pavard

United were linked with a move for Benjamin Pavard last year before the French defender left Bayern to join Inter Milan.

And he has been a hit at the San Siro this season. The 28-year-old World Cup winner has started 17 games for Simone Inzaghi’s runaway Serie A leaders.

Most of those starts have been a centre-back, but Pavard has also played extensively at right-back during his career, most notably throughout France’s run to glory at the 2018 World Cup and for the majority of the two seasons he spent under Nagelsmann at Bayern.

That versatility could be invaluable for United as they look to reshuffle their backline this summer.

Serge Gnabry

The right wing is another position believed to be of priority for United when the transfer window re-opens. Antony, an £84 million signing from Ajax two years ago, has failed to impress. And Jadon Sancho, currently on loan with Borussia Dortmund, appears destined for a permanent Old Trafford exit.

Prising Gnabry away from the Allianz Arena wouldn’t be a cheap exercise, but the Germany star could finally solve United’s right-sided woes.

He is also a firm Nagelsmann favourite, with the pair having worked together at Hoffenheim before Bayern and the national team. Gnabry’s two seasons under the respected young coach at the Allianz Arena remain the most productive of his career, with returns of 14 Bundesliga goals in each campaign.