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Manchester United join Barcelona in Timo Werner sweepstakes — report

The Ralf Rangnick connection

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Ein Herz Fuer Kinder Gala 2017 - Red Carpet Arrivals Photo by Isa Foltin/Getty Images

Ralf Rangnick has taken over the managerial helm at Manchester United on an interim basis till the end of the season, but his real influence will only be visible once he moves on to his ‘consultant’ role for the Red Devils next summer. The latest rumors posit towards Rangnick already making plans for the coming transfer windows, as he looks towards overhauling the entire “ideology” of the club.

One of the first names on his wish-list is said to be Timo Werner, a player that the German coach “trusts blindly”, as per Sport BILD (via Sport Witness) and BILD. Rangnick signed the Germany international at RB Leipzig in 2016 and the latter had his most successful spell under the 63-year-old at the Red Bull Arena.

Man Utd have also been linked to current Leipzig players Christopher Nkunku — who is also supposedly a Chelsea target — and Amadou Haidara, while their big goal for next summer will be Erling Braut Håland, with Rangnick having close ties with his father, Alf-Inge Håland.

Werner also continues to be linked with Barcelona, with Diario Sport claiming that fresh contacts have been held between the La Liga side over both the 25-year-old and Hakim Ziyech. Chelsea are seemingly willing to allow them to depart under “acceptable financial conditions”, with Ziyech the more likely to leave. Barca are yet to make a concrete bid, as they continue to explore alternative targets like Raheem Sterling, Ferran Torres and Anthony Martial as well.

Barcelona are also continuing to push for Cesar Azpilicueta’s arrival next summer, with Marca and Diario Sport reporting that Sergiño Dest has not quite convinced Xavi, and Azpilicueta’s free agent to-be status making him an enticing prospect. Barcelona are now hoping that the Spain international does not renew with Chelsea, or sign a pre-agreement with another club, but according to sources closer to home, he is expected to extend his contract with the Blues.