Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Rangnick mood quickly changes over Man Utd transfer as dominoes fall for €25m dream defender deal

Manuel Akanji challenging Connor Goldson

Ralf Rangnick has missed out on one of the defenders he wanted to sign for Manchester United this summer, but a deal for Manuel Akanji is becoming more possible as a result, reports claim.

Rangnick is in the role of interim manager for Man Utd until the end of the season. After that, he will become a consultant to the club. In the future role, he will advise them on several areas, such as transfer targets.

It will be a busy summer for Man Utd in the transfer market. Their ambition will likely depend on whether Rangnick can lead them to a top-four finish or not. Still, a club of their stature will appeal to many whatever happens.

For United to get back where they really belong, though, they need to invest in their squad. Practically all areas will come into consideration. They need to evolve up front, find upgrades in midfield and could consider strengthening in defence too.

One man on their radar for the latter task is Borussia Dortmund centre-back Manuel Akanji. He has been linked with the club for a while and the pieces could be falling into place for the transfer.

Bild write that Akanji is currently at a stalemate with Dortmund when it comes to his contract situation. His deal is due to expire in 2023 and he wants his wages doubling from €5m to €10m per season. That would equate to around £160,000 per week.

The Bundesliga giants have struck an agreement to sign Niklas Sule as a free agent when his Bayern Munich contract expires. He will take home an even bigger salary when he arrives at the club.

Manuel Akanji dreams to play for Manchester United

Manuel Akanji dreams to play for Manchester United

Manuel Akanji wanted by Manchester United and Ralf Rangnick

Therefore, Akanji wants his wages to be elevated. However, Dortmund may struggle to accommodate his demands.

With that in mind, Bild predict that they could sell him in the summer for €25m (£20.8m) instead of letting his deal run down. They would prefer to keep him, but financially are having to change their plans.

Man Utd to capitalise on Akanji situation

Manuel Akanji playing for Borussia Dortmund

This is where Man Utd could come in. They are mentioned as an interested party still – coincidentally, just as they were for Sule.

When it became clear Sule was leaving Bayern, he was mainly linked with Chelsea from the Premier League. But Bild believe Rangnick had him on his Man Utd wish-list as well.

Now that deal is ruled out, the attention has turned to Akanji. The 26-year-old has made 28 appearances in all competitions this season. However, it may turn out to be his last at Westfalenstadion.

Man Utd might be waiting to pounce so they can sign the Switzerland international in what would be a dream move for him. He would then provide strong competition for the likes of Harry Maguire, Raphael Varane, Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly – if all four stay at the club, that is.

Double Dortmund deal taking shape?

Another Dortmund star on Man Utd’s radar in an ambitious move is striker Erling Haaland.

Wednesday’s European papers discussed United’s optimism in attracting big names in the summer, regardless of their Champions League status.

ESPN have been reminded that Paul Pogba made a record move to the club in 2016 when only Europa League football was on offer.

And according to AS, United remain ambitious and will target Dortmund centre-forward Haaland.

The Norway international is one of the most highly-rated players on the planet. Born in Leeds, though, a move to Man Utd would not seem to be his biggest priority.

Still, United need to find long-term successors to Edinson Cavani and Cristiano Ronaldo. They would not come much better than Haaland if they can.

Therefore, Man Utd may attempt to pluck two talents from Dortmund for either end of the pitch.

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