Newcastle are plotting a move for Manchester United target Amadou Haidara this month, though Ralf Rangnick could yet have a major say on if a deal goes through, per a report.
Newcastle have kicked their spending into high gear after officially confirming the signing of Chris Wood. Acquiring the New Zealand international will provide a burst of firepower while simultaneously weakening relegation rivals Burnley.
Wood joins Kieran Trippier in making the move to St. James’ Park. But according to the Daily Mail, Amadou Haidara who is also on Manchester United’s radar is next in their sights.
They state the RB Leipzig midfielder, 23, is now being targeted with Newcastle described as ‘trying to pull off an ambitious move’. The Magpies are fully aware time is of the essence regarding their Premier League status. As such, they are pursuing a move ‘this month’.
Haidara had emerged as a target for Man Utd after interim boss Ralf Rangnick identified midfield as an area requiring improvement.
Haidara reportedly holds a £33m release clause within his contract that activates in the summer – a figure well within reach of both clubs. However, the Mail state Newcastle will likely have to go above and beyond that amount to land Haidara six months early.
Factoring in the lengthy contract Haidara would command and his salary demands of around £160,000-per-week, the total cost of a deal this month could soar above £80m.
The outlet notes the finances of such a deal would not be a problem for Newcastle. On the contrary, their greatest issue will be convincing Haidara to sign up for a relegation scrap – especially with Man Utd’s interest on the record.
Rangnick influence could swing Haidara deal
Rangnick was in charge at RB Leipzig when Haidara was signed in 2019. A knee injury suffered one month prior cast the switch into doubt, though Rangnick ensured the deal crossed the line nevertheless.
Speaking about his excellent relationship with Rangnick, Haidara said in December (via Sport Witness): “Yes, Ralf plays a very big role in my career.
“Don’t forget: when Leipzig wanted to get me, I tore my cruciate ligament. But Ralf said that I should come anyway. I wouldn’t have expected that back then.
“I’m very grateful to him because he really wanted me and gave me great confidence as a coach in Leipzig. He later told me to stay with RB and trust that Julian Nagelsmann would make me better.”
Responding to the rumours of a link-up with Rangnick at Old Trafford, Haidara insisted he “feels good” at Leipzig.
However, he left the door ajar when admitting United were his “favourite team as a kid”. Furthermore, he mentioned five United stars he was a fan of, including one who is still at the club.
“Everyone had a favourite team as a kid,” added Haidara. “Mine was Manchester United.
“I was a big fan of Cristiano Ronaldo, I liked Paul Scholes, Patrice Evra, Edwin van der Sar, Anderson. But if you want to talk to me about rumours: I’m at Leipzig and I feel good.”
Given Haidara’s affection for Rangnick and Man Utd, it would seem likely he would choose Manchester if both they and Newcastle lodged bids. But whether Man Utd would be willing to go toe-to-toe with Newcastle in the market, only time will tell.
Scholes questions three Man Utd stars
Meanwhile, Paul Scholes feels his former side remain in an almighty mess. He has also criticised three players who he deems are “feeling sorry for themselves”.
Speaking on the Webby and O’Neill YouTube channel, Scholes said: “The club just feels like it’s in a mess, player, staff and manager wise.
“Who wants to come into this club? It feels like a right mess. It does feel poisonous.”
On the lack of quality at Old Trafford, Paul Scholes picked out Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Marcus Rashford as three players who still have a lot to prove. The former Man Utd midfielder continued: “It has to come a point where you think, ‘Are these players good enough?’
“We know [Cristiano] Ronaldo, [Paul] Pogba, [Raphael] Varane, [Nemanja] Matic have great experience and won trophies but the rest of the squad haven’t proven themselves to be good enough to win anything.
“Some of these players have had a lot of games now. Marcus Rashford, he’s had a lot of games, are we ever going to see these lads reach their potential?
“Are they ever going to be good enough to win trophies? [Harry] Maguire, is he good enough? [Victor] Lindelof, is he good enough? We keep saying how good they are but they are failing to produce what is required on the pitch.”