Amadou Haidara looks likely to be the first signing of the Ralf Rangnick era at Manchester United after an update shed further light on their pursuit of the RB Leipzig midfielder.
Rangnick has officially taken charge of United as their new interim manager for the rest of the season. There have been some claims he could even stay on in the role permanently. But upon their announcement, United said he would be staying in a consultancy role after.
Either way, he will have a large influence on how the club moves forward in the next couple of years. He already has plenty to address in the short-term to help United revive their fortunes.
United are currently eighth in the Premier League table. They are looking to build back from the poor form that cost Ole Gunnar Solskjaer his job.
After a summer that saw the signings of Cristiano Ronaldo, Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho, United were expected to kick on this year. But Solskjaer failed to oversee such progress and now Rangnick will be aiming for better results.
To get them, though, he still needs reinforcements to the squad that Solskjaer left behind. One key area to upgrade is in midfield.
Solskjaer tended to stick with a double pivot of Fred and Scott McTominay during his tenure. Caretaker boss Michael Carrick also brought Nemanja Matic back in for the draw with Chelsea on Sunday.
There is a feeling that a different option could make United better in the centre of the park. Haidara was recently revealed to be a top target.
The 23-year-old has established himself in the RB Leipzig lineup over the past couple of seasons. He has played 17 times already in the current campaign, scoring three goals across all competitions.
Rangnick already knows all about Haidara, having overseen his move within the Red Bull network from Salzburg to Leipzig in January 2019. Therefore, he is willing to make him a part of his new project in Manchester.
Man Utd to pay Amadou Haidara exit clause
According to an update from Todofichajes – who are confident Haidara is ready to make the next step in his career – United are ready to meet the €39m release clause in the Mali international’s contract.
The report thinks the situation has become urgent for United. Hence, rather than waiting until the end of the season, they should swoop for Haidara in January.
The thought was that Haidara would take the place of Fred in the United starting lineup. But all will depend on the system Rangnick implements. Besides, the Brazilian put in a better performance against Chelsea.
Indeed, Todofichajes warn that Haidara’s potential arrival at Old Trafford would be an “omen” for Paul Pogba more than anyone else.
Pogba is in the final year of his contract with United and there has been little progress over a renewal. He is currently out with an injury until the New Year. Some have wondered if the club-record signing may have already played his last game for the club.
Pogba exit to pave way for Haidara
A recent report indicated that Pogba is one of a number of players United will listen to offers for in January.
According to Football Insider, the club have made five players available should the right offers come in. In addition to Pogba, they will also be willing to negotiate around Dean Henderson, Phil Jones, Donny van de Beek and Jesse Lingard.
Pogba and Lingard are both out of contract at the end of the season, so are the most pressing concerns.
The former’s high wage demands also add to the concern over his future. Despite his obvious talent, it may be better for United to sign Haidara and cash in on Pogba while they can.s
However, it has since emerged that one of his main suitors from Europe has dropped out of the race to take him…