RB Leipzig want to fight to keep Konrad Laimer, amid Manchester United links
RB Leipzig plan to fight to keep Konrad Laimer at the club and sign a contract extension, amid links to Manchester United.
Laimer’s contract runs out in 2023, putting RB Leizpig in a weak position. RBLive reports it is the club’s policy to sell players ahead of their final year of contract, to avoid losing them on a free.
Bayern Munich and Laimer’s former boss Julian Nagelsmann is interested, which RB Leipzig want to avoid.
Focus.de reported last week that RB Leipzig are desperate to block any Laimer move to Bayern, and are holding out for an offer from Manchester United. Bild, as translated by BuliNews, reported United’s interest in Laimer last month.
Fight to keep Konrad Laimer
Oliver Mintzlaff, RB Leipzig managing director, told Sky Sports Germany the club are set to fight to keep Konrad Laimer at the club.
He explained: “Of course we want to keep him. He is one of the top six in the Bundesliga and played a fantastic second half of the season.
“He fits in perfectly with our club and our DNA and his skills are almost unique in Germany.”
Laimer is an all-action midfielder whose tenacity off the ball saw Bundesliga.com dub him the ‘Austrian Ngolo Kante’, while former Salzburg boss Adi Hutter raved: “He is incredibly aggressive on the ball, challenges opponents very hard and brings established professionals to the ground. He knows exactly what he wants.”
This season Laimer scored five goals and also provided six assists, a valuable contribution to Leipzig’s season. It’s little wonder Leipzig are hoping not to lose him, especially to a rival.
The added factor, is that Laimer is now set to link up on international duty with Ralf Rangnick, having been called up into his first Austria squad.
There is a small possibility Rangnick could nudge him towards United, although Erik ten Hag will have the final decision.
Laimer could be perfect for Ten Hag
Manchester United’s midfield is not good enough, and is the team’s major weakness. Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic are also set to leave on free transfers.
United need two midfield additions, rather than just one, and Laimer would be an astute signing considering his cheap price tag due to his contract situation. United could probably get him for around £25 million.
This would still leave funds for other players, in midfield, up front and in defence, while adding a potential first team starter.
Laimer would change the style of Manchester United’s midfield, giving the team a more tenacious and driven approach, with the combination of physicality and aggressiveness Ralf Rangnick complained the team lacked.
Speaking to United’s website, Ten Hag said: “We are playing in the opponent’s half and we have to do attacking football. We have to do the pressing, the total high-pressing – that is a similarity also – and the adventurous football.”
United showed an inability to press successfully under Rangnick, and new players will have to be brought in who can fit this approach.
FBRef data shows Laimer ranks in the top 1 per cent of players for pressures, and successful pressures, of midfielders in Europe’s top five leagues this season.
This also extends to the top five per cent of players pressing in the final third, exactly what Ten Hag wants from his team.
Leipzig wish to fight to keep Konrad Laimer, but if Manchester United fight to sign him, the Red Devils could win the battle. The 24-year-old is worth pushing for, as he could give the team’s midfield the edge it needs.