Rangnick’s ten-man shortlist on Man Utd’s £20m budget

Ralf Rangnick thinks Man United need as many as ten signings and Erik ten Hag may have a £20m budget. Emmanuel Dennis to Old Trafford, please


After the “humiliating” defeat to Liverpool on Tuesday night, Ralf Rangnick asserted Man United may need as many as ten shiny new players in a summer overhaul.

In the week he claimed every position at the club needs strengthening other than the goalkeepers, which is going to be a tough task for Erik ten Hag given he will only have £20m to spend. What the Daily Express says, goes.

We’ve done his job for him. Here are ten players – most of whom United have been at least spuriously linked with – that they could sign this summer. And would you look at that, Ten Hag will have £10.1m left over for counselling and midweek mini-breaks.


RB: Noussair Mazraoui (Ajax) – Free
Ten Hag apparently wants to bring Mazraoui, Antony, Jurrien Timber and Ryan Gravenberch with him from Ajax, but seeing as the three in-contract players would destroy the make-believe budget, it’s the right-back or nothing.

He’s 24, can attack and defend (I know, right?) and has been linked with Leeds, Arsenal and Bayern Munich, who do unfortunately appear to be on the verge of agreeing a deal. But some real interest from The Biggest Club In The World would surely make him think twice.


CB: Antonio Rudiger (Chelsea) – Free
This would be quite the coup. Arguably the standout performer of Thomas Tuchel’s reign at Chelsea, any team would be lucky to have the smiling warrior. Contract talks have stalled as he wants a bigger chunk of change (*Man United ears prick up*). But he also wants to play Champions League football. Never mind.


CB: Jarrad Branthwaite (Everton) – £2.7m
Everton’s 19-year-old centre-back, who’s started just two Premier League games this season, is unlikely to have similar designs on European football, though that would be a very funny reason for him to turn United down. The Red Devils apparently covet the combination of his physicality and ball-playing ability (my word, these scouts have got it nailed), but the fact that he’s not really playing in the Everton defence must be a slight cause for concern.


LB: Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea) – Free
A leader and someone who won’t take the sh*t that’s clearly rife in the United dressing room, Azpilicueta would be a great addition. But for most of the players on this list, United’s ability to sign them will likely depend on said player’s level of stupidity. Azpilicueta is far too smart.


CM: Corentin Tolisso (Bayern Munich) – Free
This is based on very little evidence; Tolisso probably has excellent character and doesn’t deserve the aspersions we are about to cast on him. But he looks like a Man United player, doesn’t he? Little bit sulky, on the verge of throwing a hissy fit at any second. No?


CM: Boubacar Kamara (Marseille) – Free
United were apparently offered the chance to sign Kamara in January which is never a particularly good sign. Which mugs will pay over the odds for a player we want off our books? And it looks as though he’s off to Serie A. We’ve just now realised this is actually a list of players United won’t sign.


AM: Christian Eriksen (Brentford) – Free
Sorry Bees, Eriksen is probably too good for you. Hope he stays – hope so, hope so – but he’s clearly not lost much of what made him such a brilliant player for Tottenham in their heyday. That said, Old Trafford is not the place for someone with a suspect ticker.


16 Conclusions: Liverpool 4-0 Manchester United (9-0 agg)


RW: Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona) – Free
Absolutely perfect. Loves money, is injured more than he plays, looks brilliant in one game before going missing for the next five. United all over. Sign. Him. Up.


LW: Emmanuel Dennis (Watford) – £7.2m
Would genuinely love to see Dennis playing for a big club. Ten goals and five assists for Watford in his debut Premier League season is a brilliant return and you’ve got to love a nutmeg. Who cares about winning? United should sign all the fun players.


ST: Paulo Dybala (Juventus) – Free
He’s a beautiful footballer and would definitely struggle, at least initially, to come to terms with the Premier League. Think Angel Di Maria. Think Donny van de Beek. Think Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Think Shinji Kagawa. Think Memphis Depay. Think Man United.

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