Man United head to Chelsea for ‘what if?’ moment against long-term target Tuchel

These are sliding doors moments that provide context to Sunday’s encounter between two teams heading in opposite directions.

For United – travelling to the home of the European champions and Premier League leaders – it is a case of ‘what if?’.

They never got around to making an approach for Tuchel, despite executive vice chairman, Ed Woodward, identifying the German as a future United manager long before he wound up at Stamford Bridge.

United, however, remained committed to project Solskjaer and by time Tuchel was sacked by Paris Saint-Germain last Christmas, it was Chelsea who put themselves in position to snap him up.

But not before Rangnick had crossed their radar – as well as a third German candidate in Julian Nagelsmann, who was widely considered the preferred option long-term.

Rangnick – who will take interim charge at United following Solskjaer’s sacking on Sunday – was tailormade to do likewise at Chelsea when Lampard was dispensed with in January.

Like Avram Grant, Guus Hiddink and Rafa Benitez before him, he looked like the classic short-term fix that have been so pivotal during the Roman Abramovich years.

But Rangnick was put off by the potential of being out of work by the summer, prompting Chelsea to close in on Tuchel, who was also miffed when only offered an 18-month contract.

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