Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd ‘monitored’ European coach to replace Solskjaer before Rangnick appointment – report

Xavi, Luciano Spalletti

Manchester United ‘monitored’ Xavi in and around the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer but were unable to bring the Spaniard to Old Trafford, according to a report.

Solskjaer left United on November 21 following a dismal 4-1 defeat against Watford. That result put the Red Devils seventh in the Premier League table, with one win from seven domestic outings.

Reacting to the sacking, Solskjaer said: “I feel for the fans and I feel the same as them – we’re embarrassed by losing the way we do.

“We know we are in a very bad run and a bad situation, but that’s football. I know they’ll support whoever is on the pitch every day, and sometimes you’ve got to say sorry.”

Former RB Leipzig boss Ralf Rangnick arrived as Solskjaer’s replacement on November 29. The appointment impressed fans due to Rangnick’s reputation as the godfather of modern German football.

However, the 63-year-old is yet to get the best out of his United players on a regular basis. And a report has now revealed the club’s interest in Xavi.

According to Goal, who cite rumours in the Spanish press, United were looking into the possibility of capturing Xavi during his time with Al Sadd in Qatar.

Man Utd approached Xavi – report

The Manchester outfit made an approach to Xavi, only to discover he was waiting for the opportunity to join re-join Barcelona.

And that is exactly what the former midfielder did on November 6. The Blaugrana have won nine out of 15 La Liga matches since Xavi’s return to the Nou Camp.

Rashford free to leave Manchester United this summer

Rashford free to leave Manchester United this summer

Marcus Rashford free to leave Manchester United with PSG, Newcastle and Real Madrid interested

The report states Xavi has no intention of leaving Barca for United in the future. That’s because he has a project to fulfil in Catalonia.

Instead, United may look to bring in Mauricio Pochettino from Paris Saint-Germain or Ajax’s Erik ten Hag.

Man Utd want Barcelona ‘leader’

Meanwhile, United could strike for Barcelona’s Ronald Araujo as the latest reports indicate all is not well at the Nou Camp.

Sport Witness (citing Spanish publication Sport), shed light on what the future could hold.

Firstly, they put PSG and Man Utd in the frame if Araujo’s time at Barcelona comes to an end. Of the two, United are deemed the likelier candidate to forge a deal.

Barcelona want to resolve the contract dispute with all haste to avoid Araujo entering the final 12 months of his contract. As such, they have put extension talks ‘back on track’ for the last week of March.

From the player’s perspective, Araujo would seemingly like to remain in Spain. However, he is fully aware of his true worth after developing into the ‘clear leader’ of Barca’s backline. And in a hint his future could lay away from Spain, Monday’s Euro Paper Talk revealed he is currently taking English lessons.

READ MORE: Marcus Rashford green light to leave Man Utd as Ralf Rangnick grants big transfer pass