Manchester United could have a very different line-up if Ralf Rangnick gets his wish. The summer transfer window could be one of the mist crucial in the club’s history as they look to bridge the gap between themselves and the top three.
Manchester United are facing some almighty changes in the summer – not least in the managerial dugout when Ralf Rangnick makes the move upstairs into a consultancy role.
But the German coach will still have a sway over which direction the club will go with his expertise in the transfer window set to be utilised.
While January passed by without a signing, there were plenty of departures including Anthony Martial and Donny van de Beek.
And their futures remain up in the air with United eyeing a striker and a midfielder to replace them already.
Rangnick is a huge fan of PSV Eindhoven star Cody Gakpo, report the Sunday Mirror, who has been in fine form this season.
The striker has scored 13 times but his 13 assists has also alerted scouts while the United coach is keen to sign a player who can bring more fluidity to the frontline.
Cristiano Ronaldo could leave at the end of the season if Champions League football is not clinched while Edinson Cavani is on his way out when his contract expires this summer.
It means a striker will have to be signed but Gakpo would represent a move away from the classic No. 9 structure that Manchester City and Liverpool have popularised.
Scouts have been sent to watch the 22-year-old in action, who has been one of the standout performers in the Eredivisie.
They were in attendance to absorb his match-winning performance against Maccabi Tev Aviv in the Europa League where he scored the only goal of the match in a 1-0 victory for PSV.
A defensive midfielder is also high on Rangnick’s shortlist and Sporting Lisbon star Joao Palhinha has been extensively researched.
The Portugal international has been a top performer for Ruben Amorim’s side, who have reached the knockout stages of the Champions League this season.
Though Palhinha has signed a new contract at the Jose Alvalade Stadium, that is understood to simply protect the club from losing out on a big fee for their prized asset.
It has bolstered his release clause to close to £50million but Sporting are prepared to listen to lower offers with the Mirror reporting that bids of £20m might be enough to prise him away while scouts have watched the midfielder on numerous occasions this season.
If both players are brought to Old Trafford, whoever is in charge could have a very different look to their starting XI.
Potential XI: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Maguire, Shaw; Palhinha, Fred; Rashford, Fernandes, Sancho; Gakpo.