Nkunku overshadowed as Man Utd given alternative transfer targets to monitor

RB Leipzig star Nkunku has been a name linked with Manchester United since the appointment of Ralf Rangnick as their new interim boss, and he faced up to United’s city rivals on Tuesday

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In pictures: RB Leipzig v Man City

There may have been a rather unwelcome nod to the recent Premier League past in Leipzig on Tuesday evening, but there could also have been a glimpse of the near future.

Christopher Nkunku has been a name linked with a move to the English top-flight for a while now, but those links seem to have moved into overdrive following the appointment of Ralf Rangnick as Manchester United’s interim manager.

And in the empty, echoing Red Bull Arena in Leipzig, the young Frenchman came face-to-face with the Premier League’s reigning champions and current league leaders.

But it wasn’t for the first time.

Nkunku has been linked with a move to Manchester United



Nkunku starred and struck a hat-trick when Leipzig faced up to City in the Etihad Stadium clash earlier in the season, even though his heroics couldn’t stop the Bundesliga side going down to a 6-3 defeat.

It was those sort of results and the frequent concession of goals which ultimately cost Jesse Marsch his job as Leipzig boss recently, but not before the American sang Nkunku’s praises and explained how he can play in a variety of positions.

“We have spoken to Christopher a lot about playing on the counter, and also what he needs to do to play as a striker, a No 10 and on both wings,’ said the former Salzburg coach, via talkSPORT.

“Christopher has no weaknesses. He is young and still wants a lot more.

“It’s always a good thing when a young player listens to the things we say and also wants to implement them.

“Working with him is a lot of fun as he is really intelligent and has a lot of potential.”

And that potential was on show again during what turned into a feisty evening in Germany for Manchester City.

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Nkunku was to the fore to begun with, raiding down the right and looking to take advantage of Oleksandr Zinchenko’s lack of action for City, and a potential rustiness on the part of the Ukranian.

But if any watching scouts were expecting to see a huge individual talent on Tuesday night, it was Nkunku’s ability to link up with his teammates which came to the fore.

He almost played in Andre Silva with a clever pass in the first half, which Zach Steffen came out to block, before a couple of Leipzig’s other talents then overshadowed him.

It was the hugely impressive Konrad Laimer who played Dominik Szoboszlai through for the opener, which was taken impressively, and then Nkunku was involved again as Silva almost made it two with a close range effort that Steffen saved well.

Nkunku needed to be watched closely be City


AFP via Getty Images)

With Leipzig needing a victory to help out in their quest for a Europa League place, caretaker boss Achim Beierlorzer saw his side really step up again in the second period.

Nkunku was to the fore, but was again more of a team effort.

Silva drove home his side’s second from an Emil Forsberg pass to make it 2-0, and although City pulled one back through Riyad Mahrez, they were then hampered by Kyle Walker’s red card.

Leipzig and Nkunku held out to secure the win, but it was an evening when one or two other names could have come to the fore when it comes to transfer targets.

Nkunku is clearly a talent, but he isn’t alone.

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