Ralf Rangnick didn’t have a great deal of success as Manchester United manager, but the Austrian coach did want to sign a number of eye-catching targets.
The original plan was for Rangnick to take up a consultancy role at the club following his stint as head coach, but after this didn’t materialise, the club didn’t end up signing any of his targets.
In an interview with BILD, Rangnick himself namechecked six targets that he wanted to sign for the club in 2022 and we’ve checked out what they are up to these days.
The Austrian boss was keen on a reunion with Nkunku after working with the French forward at RB Leipzig. Despite his recommendation to the board, Chelsea managed to beat United to the punch.
It’s not been smooth sailing for Nkunku in England so far as he has been hamstrung by injury. The 26-year-old has only managed 160 minutes of Premier League football so far and the best is yet to come from the Frenchman.
While he has endured a slow start to life at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea fans have seen glimpses of quality from Nkunku of late. He just needs to put his injury troubles behind him.
Christopher Nkunku Cameo vs Wolves (A) pic.twitter.com/I1PNvr5wKl
— ⁴⁵ (@ROME0LAVIA) December 27, 2023
A fellow RB Leipzig target who was being considered by Rangnick was Gvardiol. The Croatian defender was one of the stars of the 2022 World Cup and was highly sought after in the summer.
After a host of clubs had shown an interest, Manchester City managed to fend off the competition to land the 21-year-old in a deal worth £77million.
He’s had a steady start to life in England and has played at centre-half and left-back for Pep Guardiola’s side. Given his age, we’re sure there’s still more to come from Gvardiol in the near future.
The Spanish forward was a bit hit-and-miss during his previous Premier League spell with Chelsea, but that didn’t deter Rangnick from trying to sign him.
United were in desperate need of a new number nine at the time and Morata was available on the market. The move didn’t transpire in the end and the Spanish forward has since been thriving for Atletico Madrid.
Upon his return to the Spanish club in 2022, Morata has enjoyed some of the most prolific years of his career to date. With 32 goals in 69 appearances since the start of last season, he’s been one of the most in-form forwards in Europe of late.
Prior to Liverpool snapping up the Colombian winger, Rangnick had been keen for United to lure him to Old Trafford. Jurgen Klopp’s side ultimately won the race for Diaz, spending around £37.5million to secure his signature.
His start at Anfield was absolutely electric, although a knee injury did halt his progress last season. On his day, Diaz is a real game-changer in the Premier League and you can’t help but feel like United missed a trick with this one.
The Serbian forward has long been linked with a Premier League move, but he has remained in Italy for the time being. Prior to his move to Juventus, Rangnick was said to be keen on his signature.
Vlahovic has maintained a solid scoring record since making the Juventus switch, although he is still being linked with a Premier League move to this day.
However, despite the continual links to Arsenal and Chelsea, Vlahovic has reaffirmed his stance that he is happy in Italy.
“I’m very happy to be at Juventus”, he told Gazzetta. “I still have two and a half years left on my contract here at Juve, we’re in no rush but director Giuntoli and my agent are already talking.”
🇷🇸💥 Dušan Vlahović (23) with a 90+1 winning header for Juventus vs Salernitana! pic.twitter.com/cAMCAfDTyb
— EuroFoot (@eurofootcom) January 8, 2024
The one that got away. Alright, as soon as Man City entered the race for Haaland it was always going to be difficult for United to strike a deal, but what a move this could have been.
Given Rangnick’s previous role as the Red Bull director of football, he will have been aware of Haaland’s talents from a young age.
City ended up beating their neighbours to the punch and the rest is history. With 50 goals in as many Premier League appearances, he’s undoubtedly one of the best in the business right now.