United preparing January swoop for former Rangnick midfield target – report 

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Manchester United secured a narrow 1-0 win against Real Sociedad away at San Sebastian in their final Group E game in the Europa League on Thursday.

The victory meant United finished level on points with their opponents but thanks to goal difference, failed to top the group. La Real will now head into the Round of 16 directly.

As for the Red Devils, they will now have to navigate an additional two-legged knockout tie against one of the Champions League dropouts which will create quite the fixture issue for Erik ten Hag.

Midfield options

The goal before the season was for a top-four finish in the Premier League and a Cup but it will not be easy with the present squad which is light in many areas.

The Dutchman knows it will take time to fix all the issues so he is willing to carefully construct his team going forward. One area which is relatively strong currently is the midfield section after the additions of Casemiro and Christian Eriksen.

But both are 30 at the moment and the former Ajax boss will be aware of the need to recruit a younger midfield general going forward.

According to Fichajes, Amadou Haidara could be a potential target for Ten Hag as he looks to improve his options going forward.

Interestingly, the 24-year-old was widely tipped to join the Red Devils back when interim manager Ralf Rangnick was in charge.

He had witnessed the need to add bite to the centre of the park and felt that the RB Leipzig general would best suit United’s needs.

Scott McTominay has filled in that role under both the German and the Dutch coach but his skill-sets are better suited as a box-to-box midfielder than a defensive general.

Haidara the long-term solution

And Ten Hag could revisit that interest and as per Transfermarkt, he would only cost in the region of €20million, a negligible outlay for such an impressive performer.

The Mali midfielder has himself spoken of his desire to move to the Premier League and had said the intense nature of the contests in England is something he enjoys.

Newcastle United were also after his signature and had reportedly offered £40million for his services but Haidara chose to remain in the Bundesliga.

For how long, it remains to be seen but Haidara would certainly suit the Premier League and United could get an able deputy capable of taking over from Casemiro when needed.

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