Amadou Haidara could be Manchester United's next Ander Herrera
Manchester United are looking at a potential deal for a midfielder in the January transfer window, The Times report.
The player United are looking at is Rangnick’s former RB Leipzig star Amadou Haidara.
Haidara is not the defensive midfielder United fans have been craving. He could be more than that.
The Mali midfielder is a box to box player who could be United’s natural replacement for Ander Herrera, who left the club in 2019.
Haidara would likely bring the same passion to Old Trafford with his performances, having previously expressed his desire to join the club in the future.
The midfielder told BILD in 2019: “I dream of playing there one day.”
Versatility benefits United
Haidara scored in Leipzig’s 3-2 win over Manchester United in December 2019.
In that game Haidara won four tackles, made three interceptions and one clearance in a strong all-round display.
He told Bundesliga.com: “I’m a combative player who works hard in defence and I try to do my best going forward.”
Haidara’s initial role at Red Bull Salzburg enabled him to learn football the Ralf Rangnick way, before moving to Leipzig, and potentially now switching to United.
Haidara told RedBull.com: “I learned almost everything in Salzburg before joining RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga. I grew up step by step there, and that’s where I learned the philosophy.”
He added: “I feel at my best when I’m in position 6 or 8 [in midfield]. But last season the coach used to put me a bit everywhere. I wanted to show him he could trust me in any position, and that helped me a lot.”
Haidara is only 23, and one comment he made which may begrudgingly split fans, is his admiration for a former rival.
He praised Steven Gerrard, commenting: “He was a fighter, a captain who never gives up. When I was kid, I used to watch all his Premier League games. He was so intense – and that’s what I want to show on the pitch as well. He inspired me a lot.”
A tempting option
Former Red Bull Salzburg boss Marco Rose told Bundesliga.com: “He’s an excellent footballer, who doesn’t worry too much. He just goes out and shows his qualities on the pitch. He has a lot of dynamism, particularly with the ball, and he’s willing to work. He has a lot of good attributes.”
Off the ball the Bundesliga website shows Haidara has covered 108 km in domestic matches this season, the third highest in the RB Leipzig squad. Not bad considering he has started just 10 of 13 league matches.
Haidara has a reported £33 million release clause in his contract, which would enable United to do the deal swiftly, The Times report.
The midfielder could be an ideal addition to United’s team and would typify the new approach Rangnick wishes to provide.
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