The four transfer targets Ralf Rangnick recommended to Manchester United!

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Ralf Rangnick recommended Joško Gvardiol and Konrad Laimer to the Manchester United board before he left the club in the first week of manager Erik ten Hag’s reign.

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Former Red Bull sporting director Rangnick took over a United interim manager in December with a two-year consultancy role tagged on but departed following Ten Hag’s arrival.

Rangnick regarded RB Leipzig and Croatia defender Gvardiol, 20, as a “must-buy” while Leipzig midfielder Laimer, 25, is generating interest from Bayern Munich.

Also read: United confident of more signings before window closes

Rangnick advised United to scout Leipzig striker Christopher Nkunku, 24, but the France international signed a new contract with the Bundesliga side earlier in the summer.

Although United’s chances of signing Erling Haaland were always remote, Rangnick urged them to try and negotiate a deal due to the Norwegian striker’s release clause that became active this year.

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United refused to deal with Haaland’s agent, Mino Raiola, and Manchester City sent delegates to visit Raiola to advance negotiations before he passed away in April. City bought Haaland for £51million.

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Rangnick also flagged Julian Alvarez as a possible attacking option in January before City negotiated a deal with River Plate for £14m. Contrary to speculation at the time, Rangnick did not endorse a move for midfielder Denis Zakaria, who joined Juventus in the new year.

Ten Hag and Rangnick never met in person but spoke at length on the phone in late May and six days after the Dutchman’s introductory press conference United confirmed Rangnick had left.

Rangnick agreed to take over as Austria national coach before his final three matches in charge. The official reason behind Rangnick’s exit was that his commitments with Austria would compromise his dedicated working time for United.

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Laimer (back row, far left), Gvardiol (back row, second from left) and Nkunku (front row, far right)
Laimer (back row, far left), Gvardiol (back row, second from left) and Nkunku (front row, far right)
United’s approach in the transfer window is poles apart from Ten Hag’s as their three signings – Tyrell Malacia, Christian Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez – have all played in the Eredivisie. United had a bid rejected by Bologna at the weekend for journeyman forward Marko Arnautovic, who played under Ten Hag and Steve McClaren at Twente.

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Ten Hag also identified former Ajax midfielder Frenkie de Jong and Ajax forward Antony as priority targets. The exception to the strategy is Juventus and France midfielder Adrien Rabiot, whom United have agreed a fee of £15million rising to £20m.

With the £55m deal for Martinez, United backed Ten Hag over the recruitment department as they recommended Pau Torres of Villarreal as the ideal left-footed centre-back to sign.

Rangnick has become a cause célèbre for the United fanbase, having said the squad required open-heart surgery and that 10 new players were needed while he was interim manager

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