Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Sasa Kalajdzic: Man Utd close to convincing giant striker to join despite counter-productive Rangnick interference

Sasa Kalajdzic during a Stuttgart match

Sasa Kalajdzic wants to join Manchester United despite a counter-productive interference from their former interim manager Ralf Rangnick, it has been claimed.

Manchester United are on the lookout for a new centre-forward before the transfer window closes on September 1. They have abandoned a surprise pursuit of Bologna hitman Marko Arnautovic and are now considering other targets.

As reported by Sky Sports News, they remain contenders for the signature of Kalajdzic. The giant striker is out of contract with current employers Stuttgart at the end of the season.

Due to his contract situation, the Austria international has been linked with a Premier League move. Along with the likes of West Ham, Everton and Chelsea, Manchester United have been discussed as potential takers.

According to Sky, Man Utd are looking into a deal for Kalajdzic. Although they have plenty of names on their shortlist, he is someone they could go after in the coming weeks.

In turn, Kalajdzic is keen on a transfer to Old Trafford. He supposedly feels ready to embark on a new challenge at the age of 25.

United could provide him with the platform he desires. Despite a lack of Premier League experience, he could become a new focal point of their attack amid doubts over the long-term future of Cristiano Ronaldo.

Interestingly, Kalajdzic’s openness to joining Man Utd comes despite their former interim boss Rangnick – now in charge of the Austria national team, for whom the Stuttgart star has four goals in 15 caps – suggesting he would be fine staying where he is this summer.

“It is important that Sasa remains injury-free this season and trains and plays at the highest possible level. If he stays in Stuttgart this season it won’t be detrimental to his development,” Rangnick told Sky Deutschland.

Sasa Kalajdzic could yet develop at Man Utd

Austria have not qualified for the 2022 World Cup, but it is still in Rangnick’s best interests to see one of his most recognisable players keep developing at club level.

Yet, even though the presence of Ronaldo – for now – means Kalajdzic would not be guaranteed regular starts for Man Utd, it appears the move still appeals to the Vienna-born number nine.

He is yet to play in a UEFA club tournament, but would have Europa League football on offer with United. There could also be the scope for him to succeed Ronaldo in the long-term as first-choice frontman, depending on how Anthony Martial competes there too.

The report from Sky does not mention how much it might cost to add Kalajdzic to the ranks. Given the lack of time remaining on his contract, he is unlikely to be the most expensive target.

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