Ralf Rangnick has identified familiar January transfer option to solve Man Utd’s problem

Ralf Rangnick confirmed as Manchester United interim manager

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Ralf Rangnick has identified a familiar face as one of his top targets for the January transfer window having been appointed Manchester United interim boss. Rangnick was announced as Ole Gunnar Solsksjaer’s temporary successor on Monday, on an initial six-month contract before an expected two-year spell as an adviser.

He arrives at Old Trafford with the Red Devils eighth in the Premier League, already 12 points adrift of leaders Chelsea.

The German earned a reputation for his abilities to spot bargains in the transfer market, before turning them into star names.

It is something he will have to replicate at United, with the squad badly underperforming under Solskjaer this term.

After his appointment Rangnick praised the players he will have at his disposal but warned he will do everything possible to turn United’s season around.

“I am excited to be joining Manchester United and focused on making this a successful season for the club. The squad is full of talent and has a great balance of youth and experience,” Rangnick said.

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“All my efforts for the next six months will be on helping these players fulfil their potential, both individually and, most importantly, as a team.”

Rangnick is known as the Godfather of modern coaching, with the new United boss having been one of the main developers of the gegenpressing system.

That is a system that does not appear to be suited to the players currently at Old Trafford, which may force Rangnick to turn to the transfer market to boost his options.

At the top of the agenda will be at least one new central midfielder, with the Red Devils’ options lacking in quality.

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Fred, Nemanja Matic and Scott McTominay have all struggled this season, with United’s lack of midfield balance one of the reasons behind Solskjaer’s sacking.

Rather than persist with those currently at the club, Rangnick will instead look to improve that problem area through transfers.

And according to The Times, a familiar face to Rangnick is at the top of his shopping list, with the January window opening in just over a month.

It is reported that he has ‘immediately’ started work on bringing in an energetic midfielder to stamp his mark on United.

The man who has become Rangnick’s top target is Amadou Haidara, who is currently starring for RB Leipzig.

Rangnick knows Haidara well, having brought him to the Red Bull Arena while he was manager of the Bundesliga club in December 2018.

The Mali international is understood to have a £33million release clause in his contract, with United said to ‘willing’ to back Rangnick to strengthen the squad in the January window.

United hope that Rangnick can take charge of his first game this Thursday for the visit of Arsenal, though the German still needs to be granted a work permit and return a negative PCR test result.

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