Manchester United are hopeful that the appointment of Ralf Rangnick will give them the ‘upper hand’ in the pursuit of Erling Haaland, amid interest in the forward from across Europe.
The heavily experienced German coach is set to replace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at the helm on an interim basis until the end of the season, when he will then take up a consultancy role at the club as United appoint a permanent, long-term manager.
While still to be confirmed by the club itself, recent reports have suggested that the Red Devils have agreed terms with his current club Lokomotiv Moscow – where he is currently head of development – with issues over attaining a work permit seemingly the only obstacle in the way of completing the deal.
The 63-year-old has previous coaching experience at the likes of Hoffenheim and Schalke in the Bundesliga, although is perhaps more widely renowned for his work as sporting director at the Red Bull group, helping to build their Salzburg and Leipzig-based sides into major players in Austria and Germany, respectively.
Manchester United are hoping to benefit from those links, with the Mirror reporting that the club believe Rangnick’s arrival will give them the edge in their pursuit of Borussia Dortmund’s prolific striker, Erling Haaland.
The incoming coach was previously involved in the deal to take the Norwegian hotshot to Red Bull Salzburg from Molde in January 2019, before he was eventually moved on to Dortmund a year later despite reported interest from United.
The club – among many others – have been heavily linked with the 21-year-old since then, the player’s previous working relationship with Solskjaer having been seen as a potential advantage should United make a move.
With the 48-year-old no longer at the club, the hope is that Rangnick can use his connection to Haaland to tempt him into a move to Old Trafford, the player set to be available for a fee in the region of €75 million this summer, given the presence of a release clause in his current contract.
As the report suggests, however, the Premier League side are not the only club keen to strike a deal, the likes of Manchester City, Liverpool Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain all linked with a player who has now netted 50 goals in just 50 league games at the Westfalenstadion.