Three options for Ralf Rangnick as Man Utd set to amend transfer error in January window

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Unsurprisingly, the signings of Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane over the summer failed to solve all of Manchester United’s issues. Club hero Ole Gunnar Solskjaer paid the price for several worries amongst the squad being put on the backburner, namely his midfield.

Scott McTominay and Fred were the usual midfield duo deployed by the Norwegian, and that has continued to be the case under new interim boss Ralf Rangnick.

Nemanja Matic, 33, Paul Pogba, out of contract at the end of the season, and Donny van de Beek were all other positions to play in the two-man midfield but Solskjaer was keen to improve upon those options in the summer.

According to the Manchester Evening News, the Red Devils wanted to sign a midfielder ahead of this season but struggled to find an attainable option, which infuriated Solskjaer behind closed doors.

However, the club appears to have learnt their lesson though as the report goes on to state that they are willing to financially back Rangnick, who is keen to add a high-quality holding midfielder to his ranks next month. But who could the German boss sign? Express Sport has taken a look at three potential targets.

Amadou Haidara

Rangnick is reportedly interested in reuniting with RB Leipzig midfielder Amadou Haidara, who he signed during his spell on the touchline at the club.

The 23-year-old was highly rated by the new United boss due to how well he can break up play and protect a backline, and it comes as no surprise that he seems to fit the bill at Old Trafford too.

Haidara has previously spoken publicly about his desire to one day play for the Red Devils, though there was interest from Newcastle over the summer and the prospect of being part of a well-funded project could be persuasive.

The Malian wouldn’t cost an overly substantial amount due to his £33million release clause, and is already well drilled in what Rangnick requires from his no.6’s.

Kalvin Phillips

Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips proved that England manager Gareth Southgate was right to make him a central part of his plans for Euro 2020.

Phillips is one of the best holding midfielders in the league, and with Marcelo Bielsa’s side slipping down the table, now could be the perfect opportunity for United to make their interest in the 26-year-old known.

The Leeds academy graduate is best deployed as a holding midfielder but he can be versatile too, having the passing range and dribbling ability to be a presence in the final third if required but also is able to play in a back-three when required too.

United have been linked with Phillips over the course of this season though it is believed that it would take a substantial fee to prise the Englishman away from Elland Road.

Abdoulaye Doucoure

If United are looking for a Premier League proven midfielder who can press with intensity and make himself a real nuisance for the opposition, they should look no further than Everton’s Abdoulaye Doucoure.

The Frenchman has been one of the Toffees’ stars so far this season, with his aggressive direct runs from deep causing defences real issues.

Doucoure is a tall, powerful midfielder who, when drilled into knowing his role, is not short of energy when trying to reclaim possession and can prove a real asset for the Red Devils – especially for just £22.5m (Transfermarkt).

Speaking after Everton’s 1-1 draw with United earlier this season, former Premier League star Tony Cascarino said: “Look at United’s midfield and you think, that’s what they’re screaming out for, a Doucoure-type of midfielder.”

It remains to be seen whether Rangnick takes the hint from Cascarino, or if he is keen to bring in a more high-profile signing ready to flourish under his successor.

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