United target Amadou Haidara says he wants to become Africa's best player

Amadou Haidara is among Manchester United’s top transfer targets for January. The Times reported earlier in the month that Ralf Rangnick is keen on linking up with the midfielder again.

Haidara, 23, has a £33 million release clause and Rangnick knows him well, having signed him for RB Leipzig in the first place, describing him as ‘absolutely exceptional’.

The promising midfielder has high hopes, which he may be able to fulfil at United. While acknowledging his desire to win team trophies, Haidara wants to win an individual award too.

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Haidara wants to be Africa’s top player

Speaking to German outlet SportBILD last week, Haidara discussed his future career ambitions.

Haidara explained: “At the end of my career I am asked: What titles have you won? We have already been in the DFB Cup final twice with Leipzig. Now we know what is important. The third time it’s our turn! The chances this year are pretty good. 

“And of course it would be a dream to win the Africa Cup with Mali or to become Footballer of the Year in Africa. But that still feels far away.”

Haidara’s ambition and desire to win trophies shows why he is the type of character United want. He is a young, driven player who is desperate to take his career to the next level. United want players like this, as opposed to mercenaries coming in for a pay check based on previous reputations and success elsewhere.

It will be tough for Haidara to win the African Footballer of the Year award based on his position as a central midfielder, who rarely scores goals. Usually the award goes to attacking players, with Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, Riyad Mahrez and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang among previous winners.

Prior to that, Yaya Toure won the award four years in a row, most recently in 2014, and Haidara could look to emulate his success.

In fact, the award has been won by a Premier League player every year since 2010, when Inter Milan’s Samuel Eto’o won it.

Moving to Manchester United gives Haidara a greater platform to win the award than if he stays put at RB Leipzig.

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Mali midfielder

Haidara plays international football for Mali and he has a big couple of months ahead at international level.

The African Cup of Nations is due to be held next month, and while there is some uncertainty over whether it will go ahead, if it does, then his chances of securing a mid-season move to Manchester United become more complicated.

Mali will also find out their opponents for the final World Cup qualifying round, to be played in March. The draw will be held in January, after being postponed last week.

Reaching the 2022 World Cup will give Haidara another big stage on which to show his quality and get into contention to compete for the big award he wants to win.

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