Rangnick recommended Zakaria to United and was 'surprised' scouts said he was not good enough

Manchester United chose not to sign a single player in the January transfer window, a controversial move considering the glaring holes in the squad.

Nobody expected United to sanction mega-money moves at a time when an interim coach was in charge, but there were a handful of good value deals to have been done, one of which was Denis Zakaria.

The Mail report Ralf Rangnick recommended Denis Zakaria to United’s scouts, only to be left ‘surprised’ that scouts did not consider him good enough for the club.

Rangnick had seen Zakaria first hand in the Bundesliga and United’s need for a defensive midfielder was desperate. With his contract set to expire this summer, he was available at a knock-down price.

Photo by Filippo Alfero – Juventus FC/Juventus FC via Getty Images

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Zakaria clinched a move to Juventus for a fee of just £6 million. It would have been a miniscule gamble for United to make, especially bearing in mind Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba are set to leave the club this summer.

The 25-year-old scored on his Juventus debut, although has not had the most straightforward of starts, suffering a muscle injury which caused him to miss a month of action.

He has eight appearances so far for the club, six of which have been starts. He played 90 minutes this week to help Juventus win their Coppa Italia semi-final 2-0 over Fiorentina.

Whether Rangnick or United were ultimately correct about Zakaria remains to be seen, but the instance was reported by The Mail as part of a wider disconnect between Rangnick’s vision and the attitudes at the club which felt ‘we know best’, when the past few years had suggested otherwise.

Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images

Passing on Zakaria and leaving just Matic as the only defensive midfielder still felt like an ill-advised decision.

Two of United’s top scouts, Jim Lawlor and Marcel Bout left the club this week as United start to restructure.

January is a difficult time to buy players as the market is often smaller. United will have a greater pool of players to buy from in the summer, with clubs more ready to let players leave.

This did not prevent United signing Bruno Fernandes in January 2020 though, and nor did it prevent Liverpool splashing out on Luis Diaz, who looks to be a gem of a signing.

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