According to The Sun, Manchester United are monitoring Hoffenheim midfielder Christoph Baumgartner.
With Paul Pogba’s future at Old Trafford so far unresolved, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may find himself short of options in the midfield.
The £16m-rated 21-year-old, who favours playing in the No.10 role, has made 17 Bundesliga appearances so far this season and has three goals and five assists to show for his 15 starts, per Transfermarkt.
For all the wealth of riches Solskjaer possesses in terms of his attacking resources this season, there has been one constant when it comes to the team selection in attack.
Bruno Fernandes is one of a very select group of players to have appeared in every Premier League game for United so far this season.
But it’s fair to say that United’s overreliance on Fernandes has slowly started to take its toll, having now gone four league games without a goal or an assist.
Meanwhile, Baumgartner has burst onto the scene this season, scoring five goals and supplying seven assists across all competitions, making six appearances in the Europa League alone.
And when you look at the impact Ballack had at Chelsea – one Premier League title and three FA Cup trophies – it’s easy to see why the Austrian midfielder would make a fine addition to Solskjaer’s squad and be someone Fernandes could mentor in the No.10 role at Old Trafford.
In his heyday, Ballack was widely considered to be one of the most complete and versatile midfielders in the country – he scored 17 goals and supplied ten assists in 105 Premier League appearances, and showed a predatory instinct inside the box, as seen by his goal in the 2-1 win at home to Porto in 2007.
When you consider the fact that Solskjaer seems prepared to wave goodbye to Jesse Lingard – considered to be a future club great – coupled with the fact that Pogba’s future remains uncertain, the next logical step would be to bring in a replacement with an eye on the future. Baumgartner could be the player to do precisely just that.