Ralf Rangnick has identified the need to replace Nemanja Matic as a key priority in the upcoming January transfer window.
Manchester United’s new interim boss will have an early opportunity to strengthen the squad he inherited from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer next month.
Although activity, particularly in terms of arrivals, is likely to be limited Rangick has quickly noted the need to add to his midfield and has one specific quality in mind.
While the form of Fred has improved dramatically in recent weeks, Rangnick still feels, according to The Athletic, he needs a tall, domineering presence in central midfield.
Jude Bellingham and Declan Rice are both long-term United targets, but neither are likely to be attainable in January.
Rangnick’s new assistant Chris Armas, meanwhile, is said to be a huge admirer of USA international Tyler Adams, who currently plays for RB Leipzig, but he is similar in stature to Fred.
Scott McTominay has featured prominently under Rangnick’s reign so far but he isn’t viewed as Matic’s long-term replacement.
Speaking about the possibility of making new signings when the window opens, Rangnick said recently: ‘From my experience, winter is not the best time for sustainable transfers.
‘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.’