Change of midfield transfer focus at Manchester United?
As the January transfer window looms ever closer, Premier League clubs will undoubtedly be poring through their scout reports and weighing up which moves to make. Manchester United are expected to be in the mix, following the interim appointment of Ralf Rangnick as manager, although he may well have an entirely different outlook regarding the needs of his team.
While he remained at the wheel, managerial predecessor Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was being regularly linked with several transfer targets, particularly in midfield. After a positive start to the season was followed by an alarming dip in form and results, as the pressure began to mount on the Norwegian, rumoured midfield moves continued to gather pace.
Solskjaer had apparently made signing a defensive midfielder his priority, which led to speculation that Manchester United would launch a bid for Kalvin Phillips, who has enjoyed exceptional progress with Leeds United and England. This came after initial interest in Declan Rice at West Ham United, who had thwarted enquiries from Old Trafford in the summer.
Nevertheless, after the slump in form and results which inevitably led to Solskjaer being sacked, Rangnick arrives with an entirely different football philosophy and tactical outlook. The German coach has his own preferences and ideas, which means any previously drafted plans can be thrown out of the window. This has inevitably led to new names being linked with Manchester United.
Big effort needs big support, and that's exactly what we felt on Sunday 👏
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) December 5, 2021
Over 73,000 fans watched on at Old Trafford, as Rangnick made his managerial debut at Old Trafford, earning the first three points of his Manchester United tenure. Despite the narrow margin of the 1-0 victory, the game itself gave some interesting early insights, particularly the increased work-rate and pressing of his team.
Often hailed as the godfather of gegenpressing, the high-tempo and aggressive counter-pressing strategy he made popular in European football, Rangnick will be eager to quickly embed his concepts at Manchester United. This will also require having the final word on any moves during the upcoming January transfer window.
Although some of the previous targets could fit his requirements, it seems only logical that Rangnick will turn to players he already knows and trusts, when focusing on the obvious need for additional tenacity in midfield. According to reports from sources in Germany, it appears the first Manchester United signing of the Rangnick era could be Amadou Haidara from RB Leipzig.
Malian international Haidara originally switched from Red Bull Salzburg in Austria, after catching the eye of Rangnick, then continued to make excellent progress in the German Bundesliga with RB Leipzig. Not without irony, Haidara scored his first Champions League goal against Manchester United, contributing to their elimination from the 2020-21 competition.
— Christian Falk (@cfbayern) December 1, 2021
Negotiations have apparently been opened already, with Rangnick having identified Haidara as a must-have part of his plans, while the player is believed to be really keen on the idea of moving to Old Trafford. Apparently, he grew up supporting Manchester United, highlighting the club as his inspiration as a young footballer, when making his breakthrough at Academy Bamako in Mali.
Should this first transfer move happen relatively quickly, it will be a clear indication that Rangnick is already an assertive and influential figure at Old Trafford, which long-suffering fans will also find encouraging. They have often criticised a perceived lack of organisation within the club, with transfer business often seeming haphazard and poorly planned.
Amidst the renewed optimism, bookmakers are already shortening odds for Manchester United to finish within the Premier League top four. More than just an expectation, this is an obligation that fans demand and they have a vested interest, which sometimes extends to wagering on results. Trust and reputation is important, therefore checking out the best football betting sites in Arab countries is always helpful in this regard.
Football betting is challenging and exciting, so finding the most competitive odds and welcome bonuses is a good way to start, backed by detailed reviews of all the leading online bookmakers. They will also be paying close attention to how Rangnick fares at Manchester United, as he seeks to help the club forge a pathway back to success. His knowledge and influence could prove crucial over the coming months.
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