Rangnick reveals Man Utd spoke of signing acclaimed Liverpool star and had ‘realistic’ chance to beat Chelsea to lethal attacker

Ralf Rangnick Man Utd January 2022

Ralf Rangnick has revealed the names of six players he discussed signing for Manchester United, only for none of them to end up at the club.

Rangnick became Manchester United’s interim manager in December 2021 after the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. It was then thought that he would become an advisor for the club, helping with certain transfer decisions.

But the plans with Rangnick never followed the script. There were no signings in the January transfer window and then he ditched his plans to become an advisor after accepting an invitation to take charge of the Austrian national team.

However, Rangnick could have helped Manchester United get their hands on some top talents if things had turned out differently.

The 64-year-old has now opened up on some of the targets that got away for the club after discussions he had with them. Unfortunately for Manchester United, a couple of them are now lining up for direct rivals.

“There was no such dossier, and it was never wanted by the club,” he told Bild.

“But even without such a script, it was clear to everyone that there was a need in many areas.

“That’s why we were already discussing players like Josko Gvardiol and Christopher Nkunku from RB Leipzig. Those were names that were realistic.

“We also talked about Alvaro Morata, Luis Diaz, Dusan Vlahovic and, as I said, Haaland when they were still on the market. But the club decided at that time to rebuild the team under the new coach.”

Haaland, Diaz now direct rivals to Man Utd

Gvardiol and Nkunku have both been closely linked with moves to Chelsea in 2023. Meanwhile, Diaz and Erling Haaland are already in the Premier League.

The former earned good reviews after joining Liverpool in January, while what more can be said of how the latter has been doing at Manchester City since his summer move?

Vlahovic was also the subject of a winter transfer that took him out of the equation for Manchester United, joining Juventus instead.

Morata, meanwhile, was his teammate there for a few months while on loan from Atletico Madrid, where he has since returned.

Some Rangnick suggestions may have been out of reach

Of course, it seems unlikely that Manchester United would have signed all of those players at once. Apart from centre-back Gvardiol, all are attackers, so wouldn’t have all been needed at the same time.

But some of them might have improved the lineup Rangnick was working with, which would have helped a coach who failed to secure Champions League qualification. What’s more, they could have made contributions even after his departure.

It is somewhat surprising that Manchester United didn’t make greater use of Rangnick’s connections while he was with them. Thanks to his past association with RB Leipzig, Gvardiol or Nkunku could have been ones to look at more.

And a void remains at centre-forward, so Vlahovic, Morata or Haaland could have been considered. The latter always seemed an unlikely target, in fairness.

Meanwhile, Diaz may have been useful on the wing. However, Manchester United went on to reinforce that position by signing Antony instead. He may be a better fit for Erik ten Hag thanks to their shared past at Ajax.

Overall, maybe that is why Manchester United passed up Rangnick’s suggestions. Their asking prices would also have to have been taken into account.

They must now look forward and try to identify other talents who can lead to better days at Old Trafford.

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