Manchester United are reportedly set to rival Liverpool in the race to sign 21-year-old Austrian midfielder Christoph Baumgartner.
According to German outlet Kicker, Christoph Baumgartner is the subject of a transfer battle between two fierce rivals, Liverpool and Manchester United, heading into the summer transfer window. However, the 21-year-old Austrian midfielder is expected to stay put at Bundesliga club Hoffenheim for one more season.
Christoph Baumgartner has spent his entire senior footballing career in Germany, after having graduated from the Hoffenheim academy in 2018. However, it was only at the tail end of the 2018/19 campaign that he broke into the Bundesliga club’s first-team setup, and he has not looked back since.
After a promising 2019/20 campaign, the 21-year-old became a regular for Hoffenheim last term, raking in 41 appearances across all competitions while also chipping in with a solid return of nine goals and seven assists. The Austrian international’s progress has not gone unnoticed, with Premier League giants Liverpool and Manchester United hot on his trails.
The interest from Liverpool makes a great deal of sense, with the Reds in the market for a long-term replacement for Georginio Wijnaldum. To that end, Baumgartner is a player who can offer a lot of value to the Reds with his direct involvements in goals in addition to his ability to play out wide.
Manchester United, on the other hand, are in a precarious position over the future of Paul Pogba, who continues to be linked with a possible departure in yet another transfer window. To that end, the record 20-time English champions have stepped up their efforts to sign Eduardo Camavinga, with Baumgartner a viable target as well, having also been linked with United in January.
However, Liverpool and Manchester United seem to have an uphill task in pursuit of Baumgartner, with the report suggesting that he is unlikely to leave Hoffenheim this summer. In fact, the 21-year-old is expected to commit himself to the Bundesliga outfit for one more season, having signed a long-term contract at the Rhein-Neckar-Arena recently.
What now remains to be seen is if Liverpool and Manchester United attempt to turn the player’s head, or if they are forced to turn their attention elsewhere in search of a midfield reinforcement. For now, it looks like Baumgartner is set to remain at Hoffenheim beyond the summer transfer window.