Potential AFCON postponement would boost Manchester United transfer move for Amadou Haidara

With less than a month to go, there is uncertainty whether January’s planned African Cup of Nation will go ahead.

The tournament is set to take place in Cameroon, but concerns over Covid and the spread of the new variant have created fresh doubt.

The Mirror report the AFCON could be cancelled, citing reports in France stemming from discussions among the organisers.

Egyptian journalist Ismael Mahmoud reports the tournament could be postponed, or held without players from European clubs.

How does this impact Manchester United?

Manchester United have two players due to go to the African Cup of Nations, Eric Bailly and Amad.

For Bailly, it is more disruption to his club season, which has seen him struggle for game time as he sits fourth choice in United’s queue of centre-backs.

Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Amad is expected to agree a loan deal with one of the several interested clubs, but his start would have been delayed until February, limiting the impact he could make.

If the AFCON is cancelled, Bailly could get a start or two for United in the FA Cup and help out amid a busy schedule.

Amad could also make a swift move to a new side on loan and get straight into action, playing five or six games in January, rather than waiting until the following month to settle in.

Amadou Haidara becomes an easier deal

The other aspect to a possible AFCON cancellation for United is a deal to sign Amadou Haidara from RB Leizpig becomes a lot smoother.

Haidara is currently expected to head to Mali for the tournament, which would mean even if United did sign him, he could not contribute to the team until February.

Photo by Mario Hommes/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

There are also logistical aspects to a deal, like undergoing a medical, and getting him settled into Manchester, which would become a little more difficult if he was at the tournament in Cameroon all month.

The Times reports Haidara is a top target for Ralf Rangnick, who signed him for RB Leipzig. There is a £33 million release clause in his contract which makes a transfer relatively straightforward.

If the AFCON is cancelled, United could potentially snap Haidara up in early January and have him available right away. This makes him a far more tempting acquisition than otherwise, and could prompt United to act now, as opposed to waiting until summer.

Thoughts? Comment Below
LOGIN to Comment
LOGIN to Comment
Dan is still wondering what would have happened if United had kept Juan Veron...