Ralf Rangnick is tasking Manchester United to secure the eye-catching signing of Timo Werner from Chelsea in 2022, a trusted source has revealed.
The wily German has been handed the reins at United as the Red Devils look towards an exciting new era. The 63-year-old becomes the semi-permanent successor for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, taking charge of United until the end of the season. He’ll then stay on in what is expected to be an advisory capacity.
United were hoping the documention would arrive in time for him to take charge against Arsenal on Thursday. However, a delay in receiving his visa means Michael Carrick continues in caretaker charge.
Even so, he should be in the dugout by the time Crystal Palace visit Old Trafford on Sunday. As a result of Rangnick’s appointment, Chris Sutton has compared the club to a farmyard animal – but still insists they’ll finish in the top four.
Indeed, the hard work for Rangnick is already underway. He has a hugely-talented squad at his disposal – but one which clearly under-performed under Solskjaer’s watch.
Finding the right blend and mix will be one of his first assignments. And with the January window opening in just over a month, Rangnick won’t have long to assess who to bring in and who to ship out.
The name of Kieran Trippier is one player United have a long-standing interest in recruiting. The Atletico Madrid full-back was on United’s wishlist over the summer. However, the LaLiga champions’ £28m asking price saw United back out of a potential deal.
Reports recently though claimed United had ‘now reached an agreement to bring Trippier to Old Trafford’.
However, as per Bild journalist Christian Falk, Rangnick is hoping to make Chelsea forward Werner the big statement signing of his reign.
Rangnick knows the striker well
Rangnick has a long-standing association with Werner having brought him to RB Leipzig from Stuttgart. Indeed, Werner enjoyed a highly-prolific spell under his mentor at the Red Bull Arena, scoring 95 goals in 159 appearances.
That form resulted in a £47.5m switch to Chelsea. Werner, though, has struggled to replicate his form in the Bundesliga at Stamford Bridge.
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As such, one report earlier this week claims Werner is ‘running out of chances’ under Thomas Tuchel.
Indeed, a sizeable offer could tempt Chelsea to cash in on Werner. And while some might suggest Chelsea would oppose selling the star to a top-four rival, Falk has outlined one reason why the deal could go ahead.
He states the close friendship between Tuchel and Rangnick gives United a strong belief the deal could go through.
And while a January deal appears unlikely, Falk believes a transfer at the end of the season could get the go-ahead.
Hasselbaink questions Timo Werner abilities
A fresh start could be just the ticket for Timo Werner, who appears to have lost his way at Chelsea.
The 25-year-old has just 15 goals in 65 appearances for the Blues. He was also guilty of missing a golden chance against United on Sunday.
Watching his display in the studios, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink told Sky Sports he was far from impressed.
“Poor, poor,” Hasselbaink of Werner.
“With the ball, without the ball, he was poor today. Normally he is really sharp with his runs but it was poor.
“At the end of the day, you’re a No 9, you’re going to be judged on the opportunities you get and what you do with it. It wasn’t good enough.
“He needs to score those chances and keeps missing big chances, big opportunities. He needs to put them away.”
Werner’s best chance came from a corner in the second half, skewing his effort well wide of the post.
Former United midfielder Roy Keane was typically unimpressed with his analysis of Werner’s finishing ability.
“He’s not even hitting the target with some of these chances,” Keane said.
“At least make the goalkeeper make a save. For a striker, hit the target, make the keeper work.”