Ralf Rangnick confirmed as Manchester United interim manager
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Manchester United could be in store for a new-look XI after the January transfer window, with the influence of Ralf Rangnick set to be imposed on the club. Reports suggest that RB Leipzig midfielder Amadou Haidara could be the first to head to Old Trafford, something which he has previously described as ‘a dream’. With one other signing on board, Express Sport looks at how the Red Devils could line up beyond January:
Goalkeeper: De Gea
David De Gea’s performances have turned a battle for minutes between the sticks into a one-way street.
Back-up goalkeeper Dean Henderson is now reportedly looking for a way out in January, with opportunities extremely hard to come by this campaign.
Having come under the cosh in recent weeks, De Gea has put on some heroic displays behind United’s faltering defence, even if results did not follow suit.
And with the 31-year-old approaching his 11th year as a Manchester United player, his stint does not appear to be over yet.
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Defence: Tavernier, Varane, Maguire, Shaw
Rangnick is well-known for being a shrewd operator in the transfer market, and United could exploit some good value in Rangers right-back James Tavernier.
The Red Devils have long been crying out for an attacking alternative to Aaron Wan-Bissaka, and with 87 goal involvements in his last four-and-a-half seasons, the 30-year-old could be that man.
Granted, his age makes him a short-term option, but it also makes him less of a risk for United in terms of transfer fees and lengthy contracts, and the club’s scouts are believed to be pursuing alternatives to Kieran Trippier after their summer struggles.
Elsewhere in the back four, Raphael Varane, Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw are under little threat this January, even if their form has been poor as a collective.
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Midfield: McTominay, Haidara, Fernandes
With Scott McTominay and Fred causing fan frustration this season, it could be time for United’s midfield to receive a January upgrade.
Rarely one to go for the flashy names, Rangnick is believed to favour a move for the industrious Amadou Haidara, who he brought to RB Leipzig as a replacement for Naby Keita.
If Sunday’s clash with Chelsea was a hint of the impending change of system at Old Trafford, Bruno Fernandes may find himself shoe-horned into a new position.
While the Portuguese was deployed up top at Stamford Bridge, the strength of United’s attacking ranks could see him used as a central midfielder in the long term.
Attack: Sancho, Cavani, Rashford
Michael Carrick’s decision to drop Cristiano Ronaldo against Chelsea may have been a sign of things to come for the 36-year-old.
Rangnick is known to favour attackers who have the energy to press from the front, and while Ronaldo cannot be criticised for his goal-scoring ability, Edinson Cavani has the edge in work-rate.
As for Jadon Sancho, the England international had not contributed to a single goal during the reign of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but after his departure, he notched twice in a week.
Marcus Rashford is perhaps the leading candidate to claim the third remaining spot in attack, although the likes of Mason Greenwood will also be pushing for minutes.
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