The newest addition to Ralf Rangnick’s staff has given Manchester United a double boost in their surprise pursuit of Chelsea striker Timo Werner, per a report.
Werner, 25, has struggled to match the heights he reached in Germany since moving to Chelsea in 2020. The forward was signed to give their forward line a clinical edge. However, Werner’s finishing has been wayward, prompting the Blues to fork out £97.5m to re-sign Romeu Lukaku over the summer.
Nonetheless, Werner’s high-intensity displays ensure he brings other attributes to his side other than just goals.
His willingness to hustle and harry defenders had seen him emerge as a surprise target for Manchester United last week. Interim manager Rangnick is a lover of pressing football, and Werner could fit like a glove at Old Trafford.
Rumours had swirled over Chelsea chief Marina Granovskaia being willing to sever ties with the £47.5m man. A loan deal to Barcelona in January had been touted, but Thomas Tuchel reportedly put his foot down to prevent such an exit.
But according to the Daily Express an approach from closer to home could soon emerge for Werner.
Citing the Mirror, they reveal United have drafted in 75-year-old Helmut Gross to join Rangnick’s staff.
Double appointment could ease Werner negotiations
Gross has been brought out of retirement to aid the club’s cause. He was reportedly instrumental in defining Rangnick’s footballing philosophy three decades ago during their stint at Stuttgart.
The duo then worked together again at Hoffenheim and then RB Leipzig – the club where Werner rose to prominence.
His appointment at United could be ‘instrumental’ if United opt to try their luck for Werner. However, Gross is not the only new face that could help lure Werner to Old Trafford.
Ralf Rangnick to raid former club RB Leipzig for Amadou Haidara
Manchester United will reportedly watch Amadou Haidara in his next two matches for RB Leipzig as Ralf Rangnick puts a deal for the midfielder at the centre of his immediate plans, with more updates on Declan Rice and Aurelian Tchouameni.
Rangnick recently drafted in sports psychologist Sascha Lense. The 46-year-old is the father of Werner’s partner, Paula.
Whether United will make an official approach for the Chelsea marksman, only time will tell. But if they do, there’ll be no shortage of voices trying to convince Werner to make the move.
Can Rangnick swing last-minute Chelsea steal?
Meanwhile, Manchester United have reportedly registered their interest in signing Chelsea centre-back Antonio Rudiger, who will be out of contract at the end of the season.
Tuchel is keen for Rudiger to stay, but the powerful defender is exploring all options before deciding his future.
Spanish giants Real Madrid are said to leading the chase for Rudiger’s signature, although Tottenham are also keen. But now The Independent states that United have registered their own interest in the former Roma star.
Rangnick also knows the player well, having come across him during Rudiger’s time at Stuttgart. However, it looks like a forlorn chase for both United and Spurs – with a move to Spain most likely.
Rudiger is said to favour a switch to Real, as he does not want to play for one of Chelsea’s Premier League rivals.
The report adds that an ‘informal agreement’ has already been reached with Rudiger’s representative and Madrid following talks last month. But a contract has yet to signed.