Manchester United have been linked with a shock move for Chelsea striker Timo Werner, with new interim manager Ralf Rangnick keen to bolster his first-team squad in the January transfer window.
According to SPORTbild’s head of football Christian Falk, the 63-year-old tactician is keen to secure Werner’s signature over the coming months as he looks to mould the Red Devils into his unique philosophy.
He tweeted: “TRUE Ralf Rangnick wants to discuss a Transfer of Timo Werner to @ManUtd in Summer. Rangnick bought Werner for @RBLeipzig from Stuttgart and pushed his career. Rangnick is also close to @TTuchelofficial of @ChelseaFC”.
The German international only arrived at Stamford Bridge 18 months ago following a £45m move, but he’s struggled to find his best form in west London.
In 64 appearances for Chelsea, Werner has bagged just 15 goals, laying on a further 16 assists for his teammates, although he did play a substantial role in their Champions League success last term.
However, one coach who has already extracted the best out of the £272,000-per-week dynamo is Rangnick.
The ‘Godfather of German coaching‘ signed Werner for RB Leipzig when he was their sporting director back in 2016 and went on to produce goal hauls of 21, 13, 16 and 28 across his four league seasons at the club.
His latter tally of 28 saw him become the first German since Mario Gomez in 2010/11 to score so many times in a Bundesliga campaign, and the fellow Stuttgart academy graduate lauded his talent.
“Timo’s going to boss the Germany attack for the next 10 years. He’s a great guy, he always gives 120 per cent. He’s an incredible talent, and I’m delighted to see him doing so well – even if he’s ahead of me in the [Germany] pecking order – he deserves it,” said Gomez.
Since then, Werner has been unable to put in consistently impressive performances for the Blues, although he has shown his true potential on a handful of occasions, including in a 2-0 victory over Newcastle United last term.
“He (Werner) had a couple of chances, and sometimes it doesn’t go in for you, but I thought he was a real threat for us throughout,” former Chelsea boss Frank Lampard said.
“You need players of that quality to win games, and the pace he travels with the ball is something special. He was so unselfish, and you rely on those players who are top-class.”
While some United fans may have reservations over Werner, there’s no doubting his proven suitability to Rangnick’s Gegenpressing style of play, and he could finally put an end to United’s striker search.
Edinson Cavani is out of contract in the summer, while Cristiano Ronaldo is set to turn 37 in February. And while Erling Haaland has been identified as their No.1 target, many other teams have him in their sights, meaning Werner may be a more realistic option.