Manchester United report: Ralf Rangnick knows EXACTLY how to replace ageing midfielder
Manchester United's interim manager wants to raid his former club RB Leipzig
Manchester United have identified Amadou Haidara as a possible long-term replacement for Nemanja Matic, according to reports.
The Serbia international is under contract at Old Trafford until 2023, but he will be 34 years old by the time next season gets under way.
Matic was a bit-part player at United (opens in new tab) last term, starting just 12 games in the Premier League.
That trend has continued in the current campaign, with the former Chelsea (opens in new tab) man having been included in a top-flight XI on just five occasions up to now.
The Athletic (opens in new tab) writes that Ralf Rangnick wants to add a tall midfielder to his squad as a replacement for Matic.
That publication cites two England internationals, Declan Rice and Jude Bellingham, as United's top targets (opens in new tab).
But the club are looking elsewhere too, with the Daily Mirror (opens in new tab) reporting that Haidara is another player United are monitoring closely.
The Mali international is under contract with RB Leipzig until 2025, but he could depart the club in the summer.
Rangnick played an instrumental role in Leipzig's rise to the Bundesliga, and his connections with the club could help United secure the signature of Haidara.
However, Rangnick does not expect the Red Devils to be overly busy in next month's transfer market.
The German believes January is a difficult time to do business, while he has previously stated that United's squad is bigger than he would ordinarily like.
"From my experience, winter is not the best time for sustainable transfers," Rangnick said.
"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."
United are set to return to Premier League action against Newcastle (opens in new tab) on Monday, before Burnley (opens in new tab) visit Old Trafford on December 30.
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Greg Lea is a freelance football journalist who's filled in wherever FourFourTwo needs him since 2014. He became a Crystal Palace fan after watching a 1-0 loss to Port Vale in 1998, and once got on the scoresheet in a primary school game against Wilfried Zaha's Whitehorse Manor (an own goal in an 8-0 defeat).