Man Utd privately watching Vlahovic as Ronaldo nears exit in twist
ten Hag coy on if Ronaldo will keep Man Utd starting spot
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Manchester United have been secretly keeping tabs on Juventus striker Dusan Vlahovic amid the uncertainty over Cristiano Ronaldo’s future, according to reports. The striker was on the Red Devils’ radar when Ralf Rangnick was in charge. And Red Bull Salzburg’s Benjamin Sesko is another player under consideration, despite the fact he’s due to move to RB Leipzig.
Manchester United could lose Ronaldo at the end of the campaign, with the veteran’s contract due to expire.
And, according to the Telegraph, he is now ‘nearing an exit’ with the Red Devils beginning to look at potential replacements.
One player in their sights is Sesko, who has scored four goals from 14 Austrian Bundesliga appearances so far this season.
However, with the 19-year-old already agreeing to join Leipzig in the summer, it appears United are also keeping their options open as they look at other marksmen around the world.
It’s said United have been watching Vlahovic from afar, with the striker only moving to Juventus from Fiorentina back in January.
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The 22-year-old was deadly during his time in Florence and, prior to jumping ship in the New Year, he’d struck 17 goals from 21 league games.
He’s struggled for consistency for Juventus in the time since, however, though six goals from 10 league games this term isn’t bad going.
United could feasibly try and land the striker at the end of the season, especially if they’re able to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
And their cause could be helped by Juventus’ current woes, with the Old Lady enduring a chastening campaign so far.
If Vlahovic did end up making a blockbuster move to the Premier League, he’d become the club’s ninth signing from Italy over the years.
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Laurent Blanc, Juan Sebastian Veron and Giuseppe Rossi all joined the Red Devils in the years when Sir Alex Ferguson ruled the roost.
Sergio Romero was drafted in by Louis van Gaal, having left Sampdoria on a free transfer back in 2015, while Matteo Darmian was snapped up from Torino that same year.
Under Jose Mourinho, in 2016, Paul Pogba re-signed from Juventus – having left the club on a free transfer four years previously.
And Amad and Ronaldo were both recruited by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer before his sacking in November last year.
Speaking back in May, meanwhile, Rangnick opened up on his failure to land Vlahovic – insisting the United hierarchy were reluctant to sign a new striker while he occupied the hotseat.
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“The answer at the time was no, there was no player on the market that could really help us. But there were a few,” he said.
“Diaz who is now at Liverpool, Alvarez who will be at Manchester City in the summer, Vlahovic who at the time still was with Fiorentina. Those are just three of them that come across my mind now.
“We had four days off at the time and on the Sunday I was informed about the issues with Mason Greenwood and obviously Anthony Martial had already left and then I was aware that within four days we had some strikers missing and it might make sense.
“We were still in three competitions – Champions League, FA Cup and fourth in the league, but that’s in the past and it doesn’t help us anymore.
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“I spoke to the board and said ‘shouldn’t we at least speak and try and analyse if we could get a player either on loan or as a permanent deal’, but in the end the answer was no.
“I still believe that we should have at least tried.
“If we would’ve found and been able in 48 hours, 48 hours is short notice but it’s still 48 hours.
“It might have been worth to try and internally discuss but we didn’t and it was not done.”
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