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The next Bellingham? Rangnick must pursue wantaway wonderkid for Manchester United

Manchester United’s desire to strengthen under Ralf Rangnick should see the club leave no stone unturned.

One avenue the club may consider, as United plot to improve long-term, is a pursuit of Aston Villa wonderkid Carney Chukwuemeka,

talkSPORT report Chukwuemeka has decided against signing a contract extension at Villa, amid interest from both Manchester clubs.

The central midfielder is rated as one of the top talents in England and played a key role in Villa winning the FA Youth Cup earlier in 2021.

Carney Chukwuemeka
(Photo by James Chance/Getty Images)

Rangnick has eye on top talent

Speaking to  The Athletic in 2020, Rangnick explained how he had spent 18 months scouting Jude Bellingham before he signed with Dortmund. He described him as ‘simply extraordinary’.

Add Rangnick’s knowledge of youth football, and a recent tendency of German clubs to look to raid England, with Goal.com reporting Bayern Munich are already monitoring Chukwuemeka, it is more than likely that Manchester United’s interim boss already has a close eye on his situation.

The Nigerian born youngster has already made his Aston Villa debut, but wants more.

United are already on him

The Times reported in February 2021 that United were ‘keeping tabs’ on Chukwuemeka’s situation.

The report stated: “At Villa, there is little doubt that Chukwuemeka will be the next big thing out of England, following in the footsteps of Bellingham and Jadon Sancho.”

Last year Villa chief executive Christian Purslow told the club’s website Chukuemeka was ‘probably the best 16-year-old in England’.

Chukwuemeka turned 18 last month. He is under contract to Aston Villa until 2023, so they are under no immediate pressure to sell, although they would prefer to avoid losing him for nothing.

Carney Chukwuemeka
(Photo by Neville Williams/Aston Villa FC via Getty Images)

Birmingham managed to land £25 million for Bellingham, so Villa would be looking for that kind of price tag, although it would get trickier next summer with his contract having just one year remaining.

In five under-23 matches this season Chukwuemeka has two goals and two assists. He is also an England under-18 international.

Last season he scored seven goals in six FA Youth Cup games and provided one assist as Villa won the competition, beating Liverpool in the final.

Moving for Chukwuemeka would be a shrewd move for United, and arguably smarter than pursuing Bellingham for £100 million. With the club already paying attention, and the midfielder snubbing Villa’s latest contract, a pursuit may already be underway.

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