Ralf Rangnick reportedly recommends Max Kilman to Manchester United
Anticipate big changes in the summer as Manchester United enter a new phase under a new manager. Ralf Rangnick will remain as a consultant, and he is currently assessing the current squad first hand.
A new report from 90Min’s Graeme Bailey suggests Rangnick is plotting a defensive overhaul, with the manager questioning the quality of Luke Shaw, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire.
These are just whispers of course, and arguably a more interesting aspect of the report is the one defensive player named who Rangnick is interested in signing, Wolves centre-back Max Kilman.
Rangnick has reportedly recommended Kilman to the board, with the defender identified as a potential replacement and upgrade on club captain Maguire.
Who is Max Kilman?
Kilman has been a key player this season for Wolves and starred against United in their 1-0 win at Old Trafford earlier this month.
The defender signed for Wolves from non-league Maidenhead United in 2018 and has come through their academy to establish himself as a first team regular.
While he was handed his debut under Nuno Santo, Kilman has kicked on under Bruno Lage this season, making 20 Premier League starts, his highest to date. He is a left-footed centre-back who has played every minute of Wolves’ league campaign so far.
The 24-year-old has completed 87 per cent of his passes this season and averages 2 tackles per game and 2.2 aerial duels won.
His quality on the ball dates back to his early career stint playing Futsal, in which he represented England 25 times between 2015 and 2018.
The Mail reported he came close to an England call-up last November, when he was shortlisted by Gareth Southgate, and his big breakthrough could come this year.
Former Wolves defender Dave Edwards told the Express and Star earlier this month he rated him highly, commenting: “Kilman has to be in the next England squad. I think he’s streets ahead of Tyrone Mings and Harry Maguire.”
How can United do a deal for Kilman?
Kilman signed a new contract with Wolves in November, with the club’s website reporting the deal will run until 2026 with an option for a further year.
This will make it very tough for United to get him on the cheap, and Birmingham Live suggested last month that Arsenal’s £50 million move to sign Ben White sets the region of fee Wolves should be looking for if a big club comes knocking for Kilman.
For around £40-50 million, a deal for Kilman is a little less attractive, but United could raise funds in wages and player sales to offset the spending, leaving money available for other positions.
United are due a clearout at centre-back, with Phil Jones’ contract expiring, and Eric Bailly and Axel Tuanzebe both surplus to requirements.
If Rangnick really is less than enthused with Maguire, and the captain has a few months to change his mind, then a move for Kilman makes sense.
Kilman fits the profile for a modern centre-back, he is tall, quick, and good on the ball, comfortable bringing possession out of defence. Whether United can move Maguire on, is another matter.
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