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The Rangnick Era: Manchester United Potential January Transfer Targets & Squad Solutions

Manchester United

A new era at Old Trafford is upon Manchester United fans. With the departure of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and the arrival of Ralf Rangnick, which has already delivered consecutive victories over Arsenal and Crystal Palace.

However, Ralf Rangnick is most respected for his pedigree in recruitment, with RB Leipzig and Red Bull Salzburg on his resume of rejuvenated squads. The 63-year-old interim boss will guide the Red Devil’s from the dugout until a permanent manager arrives in the summer. Still, Rangnick will head upstairs to partake in a consultancy role alongside football director John Murtough following his on-pitch duties – a position where he can evidently flourish. 

With Rangnick’s arrival, United fans are excited for their team’s recruitment moving forward. As the January transfer window is just around the corner, Rangnick can show off his eye for talent at the beginning of 2022. 

Man Utd Defensive Weaknesses & Potential Solutions

The lead up to Solskjaer’s exit featured some very questionable defending, an area on the pitch where Rangnick will undoubtedly address. 

A personnel change could be the answer, but factors such as the absence of Raphael Varane since his arrival in Manchester has evidently damaged the United back four.

Varane will boost the Red Devil’s defensive attributes upon his return, but a critical position that United could strengthen is at right-back. Aaron Wan-Bissaka is the usual suspect for this position, but this could be altered come January. 

Defensive Solution: Kieran Trippier 

Atletico Madrid’s Kieran Tripper has been heavily linked with a move to United and would be the perfect solution for them in the right-back position. 

These reports have been rumoured for some time, as the England star was a mentioned target for United in the summer. Brighton’s Tariq Lamptey has also been in the rumour mill as a potential target for United’s defensive revaluation.

Man Utd Midfield Weaknesses & Potential Solutions

The options for Rangnick in midfield could see Fred, McTominay, and Matic receive more minutes or match starts throughout December. Still, the obvious choice would be the hiring of a defensive midfielder. 

Stemming from the Bundesliga club, RB Leipzig is tipping Rangnick to call on familiar faces from his old team. 

Midfield Solution: Amadou Haidara  

Amadou Haidara has been touted as a potential midfield solution, and his ties with Rangnick could now make this transfer goal a real possibility. The Daily Mail made claims that United have been scouting the 23-year-old, with a price tag of £33m and the skillset of filling both No 6 and No 8 positions. 

Another Leipzig player in Christopher Nkunku has been duly noted in United’s possible switch up in midfield. Notably, the well versed 24-year-old midfielder netted three goals in Leipzig’s 6-3 defeat to Manchester City during their Champions League meeting. 

Man Utd Forward Weaknesses & Potential Solutions

If there’s a placement in squad depth that doesn’t need additional hires, it would be United’s strike force. The likes of Jesse Lingard is halfway out the door with contract negotiations stalled due to his disposition alongside Rashford, Ronaldo, Greenwood, Sancho, Cavani, and Martial. So, spending money on more firepower could be critical money spent elsewhere. 

The arrival of Ronaldo and his unstoppable form slowed down, with oddsmakers giving United significantly higher odds of a top-four EPL finish due to his presence alone. The best sports betting apps are now in doubt of the Red Devils‘ chances of success this term, let alone their qualification into the Champions League. Ronaldo himself doesn’t seem like a chipper, and his potential departure after this season has been rumoured. 

With that said, United’s attacking prowess is pretty stacked. The solution relies on Rangnick and finding the perfect three strikers to place in front of Bruno Fernandes. 

Donny van de Beek scored on Solskjaer’s resignment, which must’ve been a bittersweet moment for the underutilized forward. But as of now, he’s a wild card and similar to Lingard, a departure from United is highly possible.  

Forward Solution: Timo Werner 

Cavani, Pogba, Lingard, and Van de Beek have all provided contract concerns or a lack of desire at United, and if a clear out is due, the attacking roles will take a hit. 

If any signing could improve, the purchase of Timo Werner from Chelsea wouldn’t be the worst idea. Another player who owns a great relationship with Rangnick from his time at Leipzig and Rangnick also has close ties with Thomas Tuchel. However, this potential transfer talk hasn’t been touted to take place until the summertime. 

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