EPL

Haaland, Vlahovic and Nkunku overlooked by Man Utd in January, claims Rangnick

By Sports Desk October 27, 2022

Manchester United rejected suggestions to pursue the likes of Erling Haaland, Dusan Vlahovic and Christopher Nkunku, claims former interim manager Ralf Rangnick.

Rangnick endured a torrid six-month spell at Old Trafford last season, leading United to their lowest points tally in Premier League history (58) after succeeding Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

United's woes were exacerbated by a lack of attacking firepower during his final few months in charge, with Anthony Martial being loaned out to Sevilla and Mason Greenwood suspended by the club.

Rangnick has now revealed he suggested several big-name transfer targets to United's hierarchy – including now-Manchester City talisman Haaland, but was overruled. 

"One Sunday, they informed me of Greenwood's troubles, and Martial was already gone," Rangnick recalled when speaking to BILD.

"We needed strikers to play three competitions, I told the board that we should figure out whether to sign some players, but I was told no. 

"I had made realistic names, such as [Josko] Gvardiol and [Christopher] Nkunku of RB Leipzig. 

"Or even [Alvaro] Morata, Luis Diaz, [Dusan] Vlahovic and even Erling Haaland, when he was still on the market. The club decided to rebuild the squad with another coach."

While United have made a decent start to life under Rangnick's successor Erik ten Hag, they will likely be ruing their failure to land Haaland, who has scored 17 goals in 11 league games for City.

Meanwhile, Vlahovic has six goals in 10 Serie A outings for Juventus this season, and Leipzig's versatile attacker Nkunku is reportedly a target for Chelsea after recording 55 goal involvements in all competitions last campaign.

Related items

  • Portugal 2-1 Czechia: Conceicao's last-gasp heroics salvage Selecao on Ronaldo's landmark outing Portugal 2-1 Czechia: Conceicao's last-gasp heroics salvage Selecao on Ronaldo's landmark outing

    Francisco Conceicao proved the hero on his first competitive appearance for Portugal after his stoppage-time winner snatched a 2-1 victory over Czechia in their Euro 2024 opener.

    Cristiano Ronaldo became the first player in the European Championship's 64-year history to appear in six editions, but his landmark moment was overshadowed by a glimpse into Portugal's future.

    Conceicao was introduced after 90 minutes and scored just two minutes later, capitalising on a loose ball to send Portugal level on points with leaders Turkiye, who beat Georgia 3-1 earlier on Tuesday in Group F.

    Robin Hranac's unavoidable own-goal had earlier cancelled out Lukas Provod's rocketed second-half opener before Conceicao announced himself on the international stage at the Leipzig Stadium.

    Roberto Martinez's team were the only side to win every qualifying game for this tournament, with a perfect 10 wins from as many matches, and dominated the first half of their opener without reward.

    Ronaldo almost marked his landmark appearance with a goal just eight minutes in but rushed an unmarked header in uncharacteristic fashion from Rafael Leao's whipped cross.

    Bruno Fernandes angled a deflected long-range effort narrowly over as the one-way traffic persisted, before the Manchester United midfielder's teasing ball just evaded the lunging Leao.

    Fernandes was again the architect when his delicate throughball found Ronaldo, who was denied by Jindrich Stanek's fantastic stop from point-blank range.

    The Czechia goalkeeper was on hand once more before the interval, parrying away another fizzing Ronaldo strike as these two sides were the first to be goalless at half-time at Euro 2024.

    Portugal completed 368 passes in that first-half onslaught, their most on record in a single half at the European Championships since records began in 1980, and little changed after the break.

    Ronaldo tested the hands of Stanek with a dipping free-kick just before the hour, though Portugal were stunned soon after when Provod cannoned into the top-left corner from the perimeter of Diogo Costa's area.

    Yet a response swiftly followed as Stanek parried Leao's downwards back-post header against Hranac, who could only deflect into his own net to level proceedings.

    Diogo Jota had a late finish ruled out by VAR after Ronaldo was adjudged offside before his rebounded strike, though Conceicao pounced from Pedro Neto's half-cleared left-wing cross to snatch all three points.

    Substitute heroics save Ronaldo's landmark appearance

    Ronaldo already holds the record for the most appearances in European Championship history (26), though this outing marked another historic moment for the 39-year-old.

    Having featured at every Euros since his 2004 debut, Ronaldo is the first to go to six editions of the tournament, where his 14 goals make him the leading scorer in history.

    The former Manchester United attacker could not add to his tally here, and it was a familiar tale at the Euros for Ronaldo, who missed the 2016 final victory over France after his gut-wrenching injury.

    Eder stepped up as the extra-time hero on that occasion, and he was the last Portugal substitute to score at the Euros before Conceicao did so here.

    Conceicao's goal came just 111 seconds after being introduced and marks the fastest such goal since Ferran Torres for Spain against Slovakia in June 2021 (41 seconds) – what an introduction for the Porto man.

    Czech need more from Schick

    Patrik Schick scored five of Czechia's six goals at Euro 2020, becoming only the second Czech player to be the sole or joint-top scorer at a European Championship tournament – after Milan Baros at the 2004 edition (five goals).

    The forward has since lifted the Bundesliga title with Bayer Leverkusen last term, helping Xabi Alonso's side to an unbeaten league season with seven top-flight goals.

    Considering his record at the Euros and the 2023-24 trophy-winning campaign, Czechia may want more from their star striker – who was withdrawn on the hour after being cautioned and failing to manage a single shot.

    Yet with or without Schick, Czechia could have never prepared for Conceicao's late intervention. Ivan Hasek's side have now lost five straight games against Portugal and must bounce back when they face Georgia on Saturday.

  • Mainoo pleased to have 'peace of mind' over ten Hag decision Mainoo pleased to have 'peace of mind' over ten Hag decision

    Kobbie Mainoo is pleased to have “peace of mind” over the future of Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag.

    The Dutchman looked set to be sacked following a disappointing season, only to lead United to FA Cup success against Manchester City last month.

    Mainoo, who is away with England at Euro 2024, scored the decisive goal in the 2-1 win at Wembley to cap off an impressive debut year for the 19-year-old. 

    Following United's 13th FA Cup success, a post-season review ultimately led to Ten Hag being told he would remain in charge at Old Trafford under the new ownership. 

    Mainoo is preparing for the Three Lions' second group game against Denmark on Thursday, having made his international tournament debut against Serbia as a late substitute. 

    When asked for his verdict on United’s decision to keep ten Hag, Mainoo was thankful for his head coach after his maiden season with the first team. 

    'I am so GRATEFUL for Erik ten Hag, I can't thank him enough!' Kobbie Mainoo#manutd #mufc #eriktenhag

    Full press conference on the BeanymanSports YouTube channel https://t.co/XK0O6uf59H pic.twitter.com/QIZ5eq5xbI

    — BeanymanSports (@BeanymanSports) June 18, 2024

    "Obviously, (I am) happy to be building with him," Mainoo said. "He’s already got two trophies, hopefully there’s more to come. 

    "It’s nice to have that peace of mind that we know what manager we’re going back to in the new season.

    "I’m so grateful for him that he put so much trust in me and belief in me to play in the team. Yeah, I can’t thank him enough."

    Mainoo made 32 appearances across all competitions, scoring five goals, ultimately resulting in his inclusion in the 26-man squad that travelled to Germany, picked ahead of the likes of James Maddison, Jordan Henderson, and Jack Grealish. 

  • Premier League opening weekend: Who has the toughest start? Premier League opening weekend: Who has the toughest start?

    The Premier League fixtures were announced on Tuesday, with the new season now just under two months away.

    Holders Manchester City, chasing a fifth consecutive Premier League title, have a tough opener against Chelsea, now managed by Enzo Maresca, at Stamford Bridge on August 18.

    City have won their opening fixture in 12 of the last 13 seasons, though the only exception was a 1-0 defeat at Tottenham in 2021-22.

    Meanwhile, Chelsea will begin a top-flight season against the reigning champions for the first time in 53 years, losing to Arsenal in their last such fixture in 1971 (3-0).

    Manchester United and Fulham will kick off the season at Old Trafford on August 16, with the Red Devils becoming the first Premier League side in history to start eight consecutive seasons on home soil.

    Brentford and West Ham are tipped to have the toughest starts, with their opponents' average rating at 89.6 on Opta's team rating scale – both sides face Pep Guardiola's side in their opening five matches.

    Arsenal and Ipswich Town sit joint-third behind them, with their first five fixtures averaging at 88.7.

    After narrowly missing out to City in the title race in the last two seasons, Arsenal begin their campaign at home to Wolves but face tricky tests against Aston Villa, Tottenham and the Citizens in the following weeks.

    Ipswich begin their first Premier League campaign for 22 years against the side they ended their last one against. They will travel to Anfield for Arne Slot's first match in charge of Liverpool, before hosting the reigning champions a week later.

    The Reds show as having the easiest opening of the 20 sides, with an average opponent rating of 83.7, with a trip to Old Trafford against rivals United the most notable match in their first five fixtures.

    Southampton's return to the top-flight comes at St. James' Park, but among teams to have played in 10 or more Premier League seasons, the Saints have the lowest win ratio (8 per cent), having won just two of their 24 games (D10 L12).

    Everton will kick off their final season at Goodison Park at home against Brighton – the Toffees have started the last two campaigns with defeats on home soil against Chelsea and Fulham, and have not lost three in a row since a run of four between 2008-09 and 2011-12.

    The opening weekend will be rounded off by Tottenham's trip to the other promoted side, Leicester City, who will be hoping to continue their unbeaten run when starting a league campaign at home (they have won six and drawn three of the previous nine).

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.