Ralf Rangnick targets high-energy midfielder as first Man Utd signing
Incoming new Manchester United manager Ralf Rangnick has reportedly asked the Red Devils to make the signing of RB Leipzig star Amadou Haidara the first transfer of their new era.
The Red Devils are ready to turn to the wise, old German sage as they look towards a bright new era. The Ole Gunnar Solskjaer regime came to an end on Sunday after their embarrassing 4-1 loss to Watford last weekend. And it seems they have very quickly settled on Rangnick as a replacement.
Rangnick’s appointment will likely be confirmed imminently following extensive talks. He was reportedly set to sign a deal until the end of the season, with plans for a consultancy role at Old Trafford thereafter.
Indeed, the initial plan was that Rangnick will reportedly keep the hotseat warm until a permanent successor – most likely Mauricio Pochettino – is brought in.
Pochettino fuelled rumours he was heading to Old Trafford by signing a Manchester United shirt (for a fan) earlier this week.
Now though, according to reports, Rangnick could instead become United’s permanent, long-term manager. The same report also details how much compensation United will pay and what the 63-year-old’s wages will be.
Indeed, Rangnick is ready to make major changes to United – and it will all start on the training field. As per a report, United are already working with Rangnick ahead of his appointment to implement a number of changes.
As such, the Daily Telegraph claims Rangnick has gained access to videos of training ground sessions under Solskjaer.
Rangnick wants to study the footage and produce in-depth analysis of the current squad from different camera angles.
And the paper reports that major changes to training are likely – including the introduction of his infamous countdown clock.
Haidara key to Rangnick plans
As per James Ducker, Rangnick will introduce the very visible ticker at Carrington training sessions to encourage a high-intensity workout.
The German is widely seen as the Godfather of the gegenpress – a style much-used by Jurgen Klopp. The high-intensity pressing game has been a major facet of the Merseysiders’ success under Klopp.
To implement that plan, Rangnick reckonises that a new midfield signing needs to be made.
With that in mind, the Daily Mirror claims the German is pushing United to make Haidara the first new signing of his reign.
Rangnick oversaw the midfielder’s move from Red Bull Salzburg to RB Leipzig in 2019.
The Mali international has gone from strength to strength during his time in the Bundesliga. And he’s a regular starter under Jesse Marsch’s team this season.
However, the report claims United could secure his signing in a £33m January deal.
The Bundesliga side are vulnerable to sales of their top stars and they reportedly have a modest price on Haidara’s head.
His signing immediately places doubts over the long-term suitability of Fred.
The Brazilian has endured a difficult time during his three seasons at Old Trafford. He did create Cristiano Ronaldo’s goal during Tuesday’s much-welcome win at Villarreal by pressing high up the field.
But assists are few and far between for Fred and the signing of Haidara would be seen as a serious upgrade.
Amadou Haidara admits Man Utd interest
Persuading Haidara to quit Leipzig for Old Trafford is unlikely to be difficult either.
He will likely earn a significant wage rise by quitting the Red Bull Arena for the Red Devils.
Furthermore, Haidara has already made clear his affection for United.
Asked about historic interest in him from the north-west giants, he explained to Bild why the move would interest him.
“I like Manchester United very much and watch as many games as possible. I dream of playing there,” Haidara said back in 2019.
Newcastle are also reportedly keen on Haidara, but a move to Old Trafford – and a link-up with Rangnick – would prove far more tempting.