Ralph Rangnick looks to address Man Utd issue Paul Scholes identified two years ago

New Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick has wasted no time in identifying transfer targets – and one of them could satisfy a point Paul Scholes made in November 2019

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Ralf Rangnick confirmed as Manchester United interim manager

Ralf Rangnick’s interest in signing RB Leipzig midfielder Amadou Haidara could address a problem Manchester United have suffered from for some time.

Rangnick has wasted no time in exerting his influence since being confirmed as United’s new interim manager on Monday .

The German has already held discussions with the club’s recruitment department, who are now looking at transfer targets for 2022.

One of those identified by Rangnick is Haidara , who plays for RB Leipzig, where the 63-year-old spent eight years as sporting director and head coach.

Having brought him to Salzburg from his native Mali in 2016 and then overseen his move to Leipzig three years later, Rangnick already knows Haidara’s talents better than anyone.

Ralf Rangnick is looking to use his links to RB Leipzig for United’s gain


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But in order to get a second opinion he has sent scouts to Germany to assess the 23-year-old, who is set to play against Union Berlin in the Bundesliga on Friday, according to the Daily Mail .

Haidara is well regarded at RB Leipzig and is under contract until June 2025. However, the Mali international reportedly has a £33million release clause in his contract, making him a feasible target for United.

As well as the Rangnick link, United have another factor in their favour: Haidara’s desire to play for the club.

“My dream club is Manchester United,” he told Foot Mali . “I will fight with all my strength to one day play for that club.”

Haidara was brought in by RB Leipzig in December 2018 as a replacement for Naby Keita, who joined Liverpool for £57m earlier that year.

He played 12 times under Rangnick’s management in the second half of the 2018/19 season before the manager left the club.

Amadou Haidara has been identified by Ralf Rangnick as a transfer target


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But Rangnick’s glowing reviews from the time and his progress since makes him an interesting proposition for United.

Haidara has made 100 appearances for Leipzig in all competitions, contributing 10 goals and six assists from his usual position of central midfielder.

However, he is tactically flexible, having worked hard to develop his game under former Leipzig boss Julian Nagelsmann.

“I feel at my best when I’m in position 6 or 8. But last season the coach used to put me a bit everywhere,” Haidara said earlier this year.

“Sometimes I play in defensive midfield, sometimes I play box-to-box.”

Rangnick’s arrival at United prompted lots of discussion about a change of playing style at the club, due mainly to the German’s title as the godfather of gegenpressing.

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Amadou Haidara has previously stated a desire to play for Manchester United


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Whether Rangnick’s philosophy will cause a problem for Cristiano Ronaldo, or not, he will surely demand lots of his midfielders.

And that is where Paul Scholes’ beliefs about the position he mastered come in.

The former United central midfielder has grown frustrated with the way the position is discussed and has long believed the club needs all-rounder, box-to-box players, rather than those who are simply focused on attacking or defending.

“There’s a lot made of midfielders nowadays, are they a holding midfielder or an attacking midfielder, which does my head in a little bit,” Scholes said on BT Sport way back in November 2019 .

“As a good midfielder you need to be able to do a bit of everything.

“As a central midfield player, especially at Man United, you have to be capable of doing everything.

“You have to be able to help your defence, you have to help in attack.

Paul Scholes was one of the best midfielders of his generation and played alongside many greats at United


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“It’s not just about sitting and being a holding midfield player. It’s not just about getting forward. You have to have a bit of everything as players I played with had.”

Haidara appears to fit the bill in that regard, with one of the Premier League ’s best box-to-box players his role model.

“My role model in African football was Yaya Toure,” he told earlier this year.

“He was a central midfielder I liked a lot. We both started at the same academy. He was a big brother who came to Europe.

“I followed his progress closely and my coaches spoke to me about him. He was a very good player; I liked him very much.”

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