New Manchester United interim boss Ralf Rangnick may already have his first major decision to make, as contract talks with Paul Pogba have hit a snag. Therefore the German must now look at midfield replacements to prepare for the Frenchman’s departure.
Manchester United are heading into a new era with interim boss Ralf Rangnick, and they are set for further change in the near future as they prepare for life without Paul Pogba.
The French star has been linked with a move away from Old Trafford for some time, after his club-record £89million signing back in 2016 didn’t turn out as expected.
Despite this, Pogba reportedly wants to become the highest paid player at the club in order to sign a new deal, something that United naturally aren’t willing to honour.
Therefore, it seems increasingly likely that Pogba will be leaving the club on a free next summer, and Rangnick is tasked with finding a suitable replacement.
Here Express Sport takes a look at four options that Rangnick could opt for to replace Pogba.
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Amadou Haidara has already held talks with Rangnick about a potential transfer to United, according to reports.
The Mali international was signed by Rangnick while the German was managing RB Leipzig, and reports of a £32m release clause has put United on high alert.
Although the clause isn’t active until the summer, there is an option for United to pay the fee up front in January and wait until the summer for a deal to be done, a tactic that was similar to the one that Liverpool opted for with Naby Keita.
Haidara has impressed in the holding midfield role this year, and even scored his first Champions League goal against United last season.
John McGinn has reportedly been on United’s watch list since 2019, with legendary boss Sir Alex Ferguson a massive fan of the Aston Villa star.
The Scotland international has impressed since being promoted to the Premier League with Villa, and his energy and calmness under pressure has only increased his chances of interest from United as it matches Rangnick’s style of play.
McGinn would likely cost a hefty fee, as when United were interested in 2019, Villa were suggesting that the midfielder wouldn’t leave for anything less than £50m.
Last December, McGinn signed a new three-and-a-half year deal at Villa Park, meaning that the original figure may be too cheap in today’s market.
Frenkie De Jong
United have been linked with a shock move for Barcelona’s Frenkie De Jong, with the Catalan side desperate to raise vital funds amid their financial crisis.
The Dutchman is under contract at Barcelona until 2026, meaning a sale could shift a significant amount of their wage bill too, with United reportedly interested in pursuing a £60m deal, according to El Nacional.
If De Jong were to move, it would see him reunite with former Ajax and current Netherlands teammate Donny van de Beek, who has had a torrid time at United since moving in 2020.
The move could bring the best out of both stars, as United would house two Dutch players for the first time since the Louis van Gaal era.