Ralf Rangnick may have already dashed Erik ten Hag’s hopes of signing top Man Utd target

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Ralf Rangnick could only lead Manchester United to a sixth-place finish in the Premier League and Erik ten Hag may be made to rue that as the summer transfer window opens

Erik ten Hag
Erik ten Hag may feel the repercussions of Manchester United’s failings under his interim predecessor, Ralf Rangnick

With six games remaining in the most recent Premier League season, Manchester United had a strong hand in the three-horse race for a finish in the top four.

Cristiano Ronaldo had just scored a hat-trick against Norwich to leave the Red Devils three points behind Tottenham – who occupied the final Champions League place – and narrowly ahead of Arsenal on goal difference. The victory over the Canaries was a vital one given United had just dropped points against Leicester and Everton.

However, things quickly unravelled again and a run of one win, one draw and four defeats in their final fixtures of the season ensured United finished a whopping 13 points adrift of the top four. Ralf Rangnick’s side crumbled under pressure and, in truth, never recovered from their 4-0 hammering at Liverpool in mid-April as they limped over the line with a final-day defeat at Crystal Palace one month later.

Of course, things are already looking more cheery at Old Trafford as there is an exciting new manager installed in the form of Erik ten Hag, who has taken over after Rangnick’s interim spell ended. That being said, the repercussions of United’s recent late-season collapse may continue to be felt for months to come, at the very least.

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That is because the Red Devils are at real risk of missing out on their main attacking transfer target due to their failure to qualify for the Champions League. Such failure has long been regarded as something which will have a hugely-negative impact on a club’s ability to sign the hottest properties.

This summer window is no exception as United have already been dealt a crucial blow in their pursuit of in-demand Benfica ace Darwin Nunez, who scored 26 goals in 28 league games last season. Ten Hag has identified central midfield and center-forward as his two priority areas to strengthen but the Daily Telegraph claims Nunez has his heart set on joining a club playing Champions League – not Europa League – football next season.







Darwin Nunez is reportedly determined to join a Champions League club
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Image:

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Can Manchester United still pull off a deal to sign Darwin Nunez? Have your say in the comments …

The only bit of good news for United is that the report adds the 22-year-old is most likely to join a Spanish club at this stage. This means Premier League rivals Arsenal and Liverpool – who are among the many sides targeting Nunez – could also go empty-handed.

But, ultimately, that comes as little consolation for Ten Hag and Co. as they aim to bounce back from a deeply disappointing season under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and then Rangnick. Given Nunez’s transfer preference, it may be back to the drawing board for Old Trafford chiefs with a matter of hours remaining until the window opens on 10 June.

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