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Manchester United report: Ralf Rangnick wants Aston Villa star to fix his midfield, but may need to wait

Manchester United report
(Image credit: Getty)

Manchester United manager Ralf Rangnick has identified Aston Villa's John McGinn as the ideal signing to improve his team's midfield, but will wait until the summer if necessary to bid for the player. 

That is according to the Telegraph, who believe McGinn has emerged as a primary midfield target for the Red Devils this month. United have continue to struggle for form since the November arrival of Rangnick, and it is widely felt midfield is where most improvement is needed. 

McGinn has been a revelation for Villa since signing for the Birmingham club from Hibs in August 2018, helping the side achieve promotion in 2019 before back-to-back seasons in the Premier League. The stocky midfielder is sound on the ball, a great dribbler and likes to get stuck in, and Rangnick feels his quality and tenacity would help to revamp a struggling squad. 

Rangnick is in temporary charge of United, with a contract running until the end of the season and a consultancy role on the table thereafter. He has made no secret of his desire to manage the team beyond this season, though. In order to be successful, the 63-year-old feels time is necessary to implement his ideas. 

A 4-2-2-2 formation, which he had rolled out as a sporting director at Red Bull Salzburg and, later, Leipzig, depends heavily on intelligent midfielders contributing to all stages of the team's play. Rangnick has identified this as the area that must be addressed before his tactic can flourish. Scott McTominay and Fred are often paired together at the base of midfield, though neither has both the intelligence and mobility to successfully anchor midfield alone. McGinn could solve that issue. 

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Ed McCambridge
Ed McCambridge

Ed is a staff writer at FourFourTwo, working across the magazine and website. A German speaker, he’s been working as a football reporter in Berlin since 2015, predominantly covering the Bundesliga and Germany's national team. Key FFT features include an exclusive interview with Jude Bellingham following the youngster’s move to Borussia Dortmund in 2020, a history of the Berlin Derby since the fall of the Wall and a celebration of Kevin Keegan’s playing career.