Ralf Rangnick’s Man Utd transfer plan is taking shape after closing in on first signing

Rangnick comments on Martial's Man Utd future amid exit talk

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Ralf Rangnick may have only taken over at Manchester United three weeks ago, but the German’s plan for short stint in charge is underway. The interim boss has already discussed targets for the upcoming January transfer window with the club’s senior figures and reports suggested Boubacar Kamara will be the first signing of his tenure.

The Marseille defender, who can also operate as a holding midfielder, is reportedly closing in on a January switch to Old Trafford.

According to El Nacional, Man United are in the driving seat to land the highly-rated 22-year-old, crucially landing one of Rangnick’s top targets.

The report claims that talks are at an advanced stage over the transfer and that boss Rangnick is ‘convinced’ that Kamara will be an ideal addition.

Real Madrid and Barcelona were tracking the youngster before cooling their interest, as claimed by The Sun.

And at last, it appears Rangnick’s plan for his six-month stint at the reins is being put into action.

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Despite a largely successful transfer window in signing Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane, the club’s failure to strengthen in midfield was the beginning of the end of their title challenge.

As such, it comes as no surprise that United chiefs are now prioritising bolstering the squad in that area of the pitch with new signings.

Rangnick is believed to have requested two holding midfielders — or what German coaches commonly refer to as “sixes” — as part of his revamp.

Scott McTominay and Fred started in his first two Premier League games in charge but have offered little in the way of standout displays to change Rangnick’s mind.

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Clearly, the 63-year-old doesn’t regard his current crop of midfielders as up to the standard required to put his blueprint into action.

Amadou Haidara emerged as a prime target as he was brought to the club while Rangnick was sporting director of both Red Bull Salzburg and RB Leipzig.

But it seems his participation in the Africa Cup of Nations, coupled with Leipzig’s reluctance to part ways, has forced Rangnick and his recruitment team to look elsewhere.

Kamara is reasonably experienced for a player of his youth, with 141 appearances for Marseille already to his name and a France Under-21 international.

Unlike his predecessors’ recruitment in this area, capturing a player of Kamara’s build, skill and athleticism would transform their midfield.

Fred has contributed some decent performances, but the Brazilian’s efforts are far too inconsistent. Consider that £35m signing Donny van de Beek has struggled to impress Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and, so far, Rangnick, and one could consider the £87m spent on the pair somewhat poorly spent.

Elsewhere, Nemanja Matic is into the final years of his career and showing signs of decline, while Paul Pogba’s injury and contract issues are an unwanted distraction.

In terms of filling the Pogba-shaped hole in midfield, Jude Bellingham may well be the next item to check off Rangnick’s shopping list.

The Borussia Dortmund starlet is still only 18 but is already a regular for club and country, winning 10 caps for England since his debut in 2020.

Having a more defensive-minded player such as Kamara alongside him could free Bellingham to attack and float in between pockets of space in between the midfield and final third.

The only stumbling block to acquire the 18-year-old is the fee, with Borussia Dortmund unequivocally batting away every transfer rumour that links the former Birmingham trainee with Old Trafford.

But if they are willing to meet their demands, understood to be around £100m, there is nothing to suggest the pair could not be partners for the next five or even 10 years.

Rangnick has already suggested he would like to stay in his consultant role for two years after his contract as interim coach expires.

Part of his transfer plan then has to be what he feels is beneficial for the club in the long-term, rather than the short-term benefits. Signing Kamara and Bellingham, with the best years of their careers still to come, would represent smart business.

And organising the United squad for future years will no doubt give Rangnick a positive legacy to take away when he steps away from the dugout.

But if he truly believes Kamara can help implement his style of play, it is likely to give United a short-term boost as well as the club push for a top-four spot.

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