Ralf Rangnick has reportedly warned Stuttgart star Sasa Kalajdzic against joining Manchester United in the summer transfer window.
The 25-year-old forward is among the dozens of players to be linked with a move to United, who are in desperate need of attacking options.
United were forced to deploy midfielder Christian Eriksen as a false nine in the 2-1 defeat to Brighton in their Premier League opener on Sunday, although wantaway star Cristiano Ronaldo came off the bench in the second half.
Kalajdzic has caught the eye after scoring 24 goals in 58 matches since joining the Bundesliga outfit in 2019, despite the Austrian only finding the net on five occasions last season.
But Rangnick, who was outspoken on United’s failings and was also not afraid to publicly call players out during his ill-fated spell as interim manager, believes Kalajdzic would be better off remaining in Germany, reports in the country have claimed.
‘It is important that Sasa remains injury-free this season and trains and plays at the highest possible level. If he stays in Stuttgart this season, it will not be detrimental to his development,’ Rangnick said, according to Sky Germany.
Rangnick took over as manager of the Austrian national team in June. The 64-year-old German had been due to act as a consultant for United under new manager Erik ten Hag before the club decided to scrap the arrangement.
He was vocal on the need for United to sign as many as 10 players if they were to return to past glories during his time at Old Trafford.
So far this transfer window, Ten Hag and United have been left frustrated, signing only Tyrell Malacia, Lisandro Martinez and Eriksen.
They have been involved in a protracted pursuit of Dutch star Frenkie de Jong, who is Ten Hag’s No 1 transfer target.
United had been linked with a move for Ajax forward Antony but balked at the Dutch club’s asking price of £84million, while they were also interested in RB Salzburg striker Benjamin Sesko before he agreed to join sister club RB Leipzig from next summer.
Rangnick reportedly told United to sign five players before he left Old Trafford but the club have signed none of them, with two of the German’s recommendations since joining Manchester City instead.
The German proposed the Red Devils make a move for Erling Haaland, Christopher Nkunku, Konrad Laimer, Julian Alvarez and Josko Gvardiol, the latter of which he labelled as a ‘must buy’, according to the Manchester Evening News.