5 German-based players Man United could move for under Ralf Rangnick

Five Bundesliga players Manchester United could target under a Ralf Rangnick regime

Ralf Rangnick; the right autocrat for Manchester United

An autocrat if there ever was one, new interim boss Ralf Rangnick looks set to take on the biggest task yet of what is already a highly-influential career as both a manager and a director as he takes up his position as Manchester United boss for the remainder of the 2021-22 season.

His work at TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, Red Bull Leipzig, and Red Bull Salzburg is the talk of the town amongst the Man United faithful; not just on a tactical basis, but what it could mean for the club moving forward in the long term after the “Godfather of Gegenpressing” takes up his consultancy role at Old Trafford next season in a 2-year stint that has already been agreed.

And while many expect the club to quickly establish a tactical identity on the pitch for the rest of the season that hopefully will tap into a high-octane attacking approach from Ralf Rangnick, the more intriguing matter comes by way of how United will recruit moving forward on the back of the ethos he may be able to establish both on and off the pitch at the Theatre of Dreams.

Five Bundesliga players Manchester United could target under a Ralf Rangnick regime

MUNICH, GERMANY – SEPTEMBER 29: (BILD OUT) Ralf Rangnick talks prior to the UEFA Champions League group E match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Dinamo Kiev at Allianz Arena on September 29, 2021 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Roland Krivec/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

Previous comments by Rangnick regarding Bundesliga players he valued highly could offer insight into the type of options he may guide United towards during his time with the club despite the level of players that many amongst the United fan base would want the club to aim for.

With that in mind, here are five Bundesliga-based players that Manchester United could target on the back of their influence under Ralf Rangnick.

Erling Haaland; the star Man United want and need

Which top club in the world could not want Erling Haaland as their long-term leading striker. But Rangnick could certainly be able to help United pull the Borussia Dortmund star in their direction and away from the likes of Manchester City, Real Madrid, and Paris Saint-Germain.

Rangnick knows Haaland well after the Norwegian hitman arrived at Salzburg in 2019 while Rangnick was still head of sport and development for Red Bull GmbH. Additionally, Haaland’s enormous success at Dortmund – and former on-pitch partnership with current United winger Jadon Sancho – would be a tantalizing reunion while offering United a genuine long-term center forward option as Cristiano Ronaldo continues to progress in age.

Five Bundesliga players Manchester United could target under a Ralf Rangnick regime

SALZBURG, AUSTRIA – OCTOBER 27: Erling Haaland of Salzburg celebrates with scorer Dominik Szoboszlai of Salzburg after his goal during the tipico Bundesliga match between FC Red Bull Salzburg and SK Rapid Wien at Red Bull Arena on October 27, 2019 in Salzburg, Austria. (Photo by David Geieregger/SEPA.Media /Getty Images)

Haaland’s work rate on and off the ball, high level of ability to hold play and bring others into dangerous positions in the attacking third, and multi-faceted goal threat would suit both Rangnick tactically but also the type of signing United need if they are to establish themselves for the long-term.

Tyler Adams; Red Bull diamond in the rough

American international Tyler Adams may be viewed as being below the level of central midfielder that Manchester United wants, but the former New York Red Bulls academy graduate and current RB Leipzig player is just the type of signing that Rangnick is known for.

Talented for his age, versatile on the pitch (capable of being successfully deployed as a holding midfielder, a central midfielder, or a right-back), and a player that Rangnick knows well having seen his growth inside the Red Bull system, Adams would offer a player with bags of potential without costing an astronomical fee. Despite rumored interest from Premier League rivals Arsenal, Rangnick’s knowledge of the player could serve United in good stead here.

Amadou Haidara; Rangnick approved

Already linked with a potential move to United the minute Rangnick was confirmed to be in the door, RB Leipzig midfielder Amadou Haidara has already been earmarked by the German tactician in the past as a player that is “top-level and will show it.”

The need for the Red Devils to strengthen – if not improve – their options in central midfield both for the present moment and in the future puts the Malian international straight into the conversation and for good reason. Still just 23-years-old but confident on the ball and a very effective box-to-box player, Haidara is another Red Bull project player that Rangnick had a direct hand in securing in the past. It would not surprise many if he turned to the midfielder again if he truly believes in his ability and potential.

Christoph Baumgartner; under-the-radar midfield option

Not many Premier League fans would have heard of TSG 1899 Hoffenheim midfielder Christoph Baumgartner, but the Austrian international could offer a sneaky under-the-radar option for Manchester United that is right up Ralf Rangnick’s alley.

A product of the Hoffenheim youth set up that Rangnick worked so hard to instil in Sinsheim during his 5-year spell at the club, Baumgartner is a creative midfielder capable of playing in the ten role, out wide, or – crucially – in a deeper 6 or 8 role in the heart of midfield. Technically strong, intelligent on the ball, and offering a goal threat from midfield that was on display at Euro 2020 for his country. Baumgartner was also rumoured to be linked with interest from United in the summer, and now Rangnick has rocked up at the club, it could be an avenue the club may find worth exploring once again.

Nico Schlotterbeck; long-term potential

The tempting player to name drop in the center-back role is Bayern Munich’s German international Niklas Süle after the former Hoffenheim standout is rumored to be ‘likely‘ leaving the Allianz Arena at the end of the season after his contract expires with a host of top clubs prepared to fight for his services.

But his potential replacement in SC Freiburg’s 21-year-old Nico Schlotterbeck could be a more prudent move for United. Given his age and his level of play this season for an over-performing Breisgau-Brasilianer outfit that has the joint-top defense in the Bundesliga this season, he suits the profile of signing that Rangnick has made on many occasions in the past while also potentially molding him into a long-term option at Old Trafford while under the tutelage of both Raphaël Varane and Harry Maguire.

Schlotterbeck recently stated that he was not bound by a big move to England or Spain, however, and his preference to stay in Germany could be a stumbling block that may be hard to overcome.

This article was edited by
Josh Barker.

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