Man United boss Ralf Rangnick has made a ‘tall midfielder’ to replace Nemanja Matic his ‘top priority’ in the transfer market, according to reports.
The German was appointed late last month as the new interim manager at Old Trafford with a permanent successor to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer set to be appointed in the summer.
Rangnick will continue to have a say on transfers and other club business once he’s replaced with the 63-year-old moving into a consultancy role for two years.
The Red Devils have won their two Premier League matches under Rangnick 1-0, while they drew 1-1 with Young Boys in the Champions League.
Rangnick will get his first opportunity to add new faces to his Man Utd squad in a week’s time when the January transfer window opens.
And The Athletic claims that West Ham’s Declan Rice and Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham are right at the top of his list.
The Athletic journalist Laurie Whitwell writes: ‘Rangnick has identified a tall midfielder as a top priority, essentially a replacement for Nemanja Matic. He admires Declan Rice and, of course, Jude Bellingham, who United tried to sign from Birmingham City after personal scouting missions by Mike Phelan. Neither of those players will move in January, however.’
However, Rangnick has previously warned that January is a far from ideal time to bring in good players with Man Utd supporters potentially being made to wait until the summer for any meaningful additions.
At his Man Utd unveiling, Rangnick said: “From my experience, winter is not the best time for sustainable transfers and with the quality of players we have here, it would in theory only make sense if you can get players who can guarantee you more quality. From experience, this will be difficult in the winter.”
Meanwhile, Man Utd football director John Murtough claimed yesterday that Rangnick was their first choice and made the appointment in a “careful and considered fashion”.
Murtough said: “Out of respect for Ole, we did not approach other managers before he left. Our plan then was to appoint an experienced interim manager and Ralf was our clear first choice.
“By bringing in Ralf, we can now take time to run a thorough process for our next permanent manager.
“Recruiting a manager is one of the most important decisions a football club makes so we want to do it in a careful and considered fashion.
“We have an agreement with Ralf to stay on for a further two years in a consultancy role – allowing us to continue drawing on his expertise and advice to support our longer-term goals.”