Manchester United manager Ralf Rangnick is keen on four of Germany’s most talented prospects as he targets potential transfers for the Red Devils, according to the Sun.
Rangnick is currently the interim boss of the Manchester outfit for the rest of the season and the widely-respected football mind will move on to a consultancy role for two years after this period, per the club.
So the German has one eye on steering United back to where they need to be this season, in the top four race at the very least, and the other on the more long-term plans for the club and team.
Florian Wirtz is the standout name as the Sun also link the Red Devils with German prospects Luca Netz, Eric Martel and Armel Bella-Kotchap.
Wirtz debuted for Bayer Leverkusen at the age of 17 during the 19/20 season and has now established himself as a key player for the side over the last two campaigns.
The playmaker chipped in eight goals and eight assists in his first full season of senior football and has already smashed those contributions halfway through this term with eight goals and 11 assists so far.
The Sun note that Wirtz is valued at around £60m, whilst the Star recently reported that United feel the appointment of Rangnick will give them the edge in the race for the star boy.
Wirtz’ brilliant displays in the Bundesliga saw him break into the Germany squad at the start of the season, and he’s already won four caps.
Next up on Rangnick’s wishlist is Luca Netz, a left-back who has featured mostly in a wing-back role since he transferred to Borussia Monchengladbach from boyhood club Hertha Berlin this summer.
The 18-year-old broke into Berlin’s first-team in the second-half of last season and features for the Germany Under-21s, he’s started eight of his 12 Bundesliga appearances so far this term.
The most familiar face for Rangnick of the four talents could well be Eric Martel, owing to the tactician’s history across Red Bull’s football group.
Martel is on the books of RB Leipzig, but is currently out on loan at Austria Vienna (Wien). The 19-year-old primarily features as a defensive midfielder, but is also deployed as a centre-back at times.
The ace, who is another representative for Germany at Under-21s level, has started all of his 22 appearances across all competitions this season, adding two goals and three assists along the way.
As the youngster is tasting his first real spell of regular first-team football on loan in Austria, it may be too soon to run the rule on Martel, plus the fact he’s with Leipzig could make it hard for United.
Finally, Rangnick is keen on Armel Bella-Kotchap, a centre-back for VfL Bochum.
The Sun state that Chelsea tried to sign the defender last year, which isn’t a surprise given the key role he played for Bochum as they earned promotion to the German top-flight last season.
The 20-year-old retained his spot in the starting lineup when the new campaign started, but with five of the side’s first seven Bundesliga encounters ending in defeat, Bella-Kotchap has been benched.
His only top-flight appearances since the end of October have been two one-minute cameos, though he retains a spot in Germany’s Under-21s squad.
Bella-Kotchap was actually born in France and is the son of a former Cameroon international, Cyrille Florent Bella.
The 6ft3 defender showed his talent and potential in the promotion-winning campaign for Bochum but is currently facing the toughest part of his career to date amid a lack of action.