Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd to rival Leeds for Ralf Rangnick successor currently shining in Portugal

James Holland
Ruben Amorim Sporting Lisbon

Man Utd and Leeds are ready to do battle over the capture of a highly rated Portuguese manager, according to a report.

The Red Devils brought in Ralf Rangnick last month to replace club legend Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the dugout. The German is known for his intense pressing style, which could transform the club’s season.

So far they have won three Premier League games and drawn a Champions League dead rubber with Rangnick on the touchline.

The 63-year-old will likely be in charge until the end of the campaign, when he will begin a two-year consultancy role at Old Trafford. That gives Man Utd chiefs several months to find his successor.

One option is Paris Saint-Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino. Reports suggest he has always wanted the job, despite his links with English rivals Tottenham.

Pochettino’s family still lives in the country, suggesting that he may be open to a sensational Premier League return.

However, Man Utd have a backup plan, should they be unable to secure Pochettino’s services.

The Express claim United hold an interest in Sporting Lisbon manager Ruben Amorim. He is gaining plenty of admirers across the continent, despite being just 36 years old.

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Amorim began coaching upon his retirement from playing in 2017. Since then, he has enjoyed a rapid rise to success. He joined Sporting in March 2020 as they paid Braga £8million for his signature.

During his first full season in charge, Sporting ended their 19-year wait for a Portuguese league title. They finished five points ahead of Porto, after keeping hold of top spot since November.

The achievement saw United forward Cristiano Ronaldo congratulate Amorim and his team.

The report claims Amorim is on United’s shortlist to replace Rangnick. They believe he would do a great job at continuing the tactician’s success.

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Portuguese connection at play

There is also the Portuguese connection, as Amorim would likely get on well with former Sporting stars Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes.

However, the Manchester club will not have it all their own way. Leeds are sounding out potential Marcelo Bielsa successors and also admire Amorim.

That could set up a manager race once Rangnick begins his consultancy role in June.

It is worth noting that Amorim has a €30m (£25.4m) release clause as part of his contract. This could put United in the driving seat for a move as they are more capable of meeting that fee than Leeds.

Pundit urges Man Utd to rival Liverpool for star

Meanwhile, pundit Steve McManaman thinks United should be in the fight for Jude Bellingham.

The England midfielder is making a big impression at Borussia Dortmund and could return to the Prem over the next few years.

He is on Liverpool’s radar, but McManaman thinks United ‘need’ a player of Bellingham’s ilk.

“He has got all the attributes to be a superstar,” McManaman said. “When you look through the teams and the sides that could buy him – Manchester United would need that type of player as a central midfielder. Manchester City, with Rodri, Ilkay Gündogan, Bernardo Silva, not so much.

“Liverpool have got Jordan Henderson, Thiago, Fabinho. Of course it would be a great signing, he’s a great player, but whether Liverpool need him now is another thing.

“[Man] City could accommodate him but they’ve got a plethora of great players in there and he mightn’t play.

“I think United need a centre midfielder of that (Bellingham’s) ilk. Nemanja Matic and Juan Mata are coming to the end of their careers and Paul Pogba may leave.

“So if there’s one team that needs a player like Jude Bellingham, it’s Manchester United.”

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