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Solskjaer favourite under immediate threat as Ralf Rangnick targets high-energy star as first Man Utd signing

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Incoming new Manchester United manager Ralf Rangnick has reportedly asked the Red Devils to make the signing of RB Leipzig star Amadou Haidara the first transfer of their new era.

The Red Devils are ready to turn to the wise, old German sage as they look towards a bright new era. The Ole Gunnar Solskjaer regime came to an end on Sunday after their embarrassing 4-1 loss to Watford last weekend. And it seems they have very quickly settled on Rangnick as a replacement.

Rangnick’s appointment will likely be confirmed imminently following extensive talks. He was reportedly set to sign a deal until the end of the season, with plans for a consultancy role at Old Trafford thereafter.

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Indeed, the initial plan was that Rangnick will reportedly keep the hotseat warm until a permanent successor – most likely Mauricio Pochettino – is brought in.

Pochettino fuelled rumours he was heading to Old Trafford by signing a Manchester United shirt (for a fan) earlier this week.

Now though, according to reports, Rangnick could instead become United’s permanent, long-term manager. The same report also details how much compensation United will pay and what the 63-year-old’s wages will be.

Indeed, Rangnick is ready to make major changes to United – and it will all start on the training field. As per a report, United are already working with Rangnick ahead of his appointment to implement a number of changes.

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As such, the Daily Telegraph claims Rangnick has gained access to videos of training ground sessions under Solskjaer.

Rangnick wants to study the footage and produce in-depth analysis of the current squad from different camera angles.

And the paper reports that major changes to training are likely – including the introduction of his infamous countdown clock.

Haidara key to Rangnick plans

As per James Ducker, Rangnick will introduce the very visible ticker at Carrington training sessions to encourage a high-intensity workout.

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The German is widely seen as the Godfather of the gegenpress – a style much-used by Jurgen Klopp. The high-intensity pressing game has been a major facet of the Merseysiders’ success under Klopp.

To implement that plan, Rangnick reckonises that a new midfield signing needs to be made.

With that in mind, the Daily Mirror claims the German is pushing United to make Haidara the first new signing of his reign.

Rangnick oversaw the midfielder’s move from Red Bull Salzburg to RB Leipzig in 2019.

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The Mali international has gone from strength to strength during his time in the Bundesliga. And he’s a regular starter under Jesse Marsch’s team this season.

However, the report claims United could secure his signing in a £33m January deal.

The Bundesliga side are vulnerable to sales of their top stars and they reportedly have a modest price on Haidara’s head.

His signing immediately places doubts over the long-term suitability of Fred.

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The Brazilian has endured a difficult time during his three seasons at Old Trafford. He did create Cristiano Ronaldo’s goal during Tuesday’s much-welcome win at Villarreal by pressing high up the field.

But assists are few and far between for Fred and the signing of Haidara would be seen as a serious upgrade.

Amadou Haidara admits Man Utd interest

Persuading Haidara to quit Leipzig for Old Trafford is unlikely to be difficult either.

He will likely earn a significant wage rise by quitting the Red Bull Arena for the Red Devils.

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Furthermore, Haidara has already made clear his affection for United.

Asked about historic interest in him from the north-west giants, he explained to Bild why the move would interest him.

“I like Manchester United very much and watch as many games as possible. I dream of playing there,” Haidara said back in 2019.

Newcastle are also reportedly keen on Haidara, but a move to Old Trafford – and a link-up with Rangnick – would prove far more tempting.

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READ MOREMajor changes in store for Man Utd as club give in to two big Ragnick demands

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Leeds United ready to move on to Brenden Aaronson Plan B as Nott’m Forest star is eyed

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Leeds United are plotting a swoop for Championship star Brennan Johnson, though they will need to snatch him from under the noses of Brentford.

Johnson, 20, is one of the breakout stars in the Championship this season. The Nottingham Forest youngster has been directly involved in 12 goals in the league this season.

His top performances in a Forest shirt have led to interest from Premier League sides. Brentford are keen on bringing the attacking-midfielder to the club, though Forest have upped their valuation to £20million.

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Forest are just one point outside the Championship play-off places. As such, their desire to keep their star boy makes a lot of sense.

It is unclear at present whether Brentford will succumb to the £20million valuation on Johnson’s head. The Bees were previously set on £18million.

Nottingham Post reports that Leeds United have joined the pursuit of the youngster. In fact, the Whites have reportedly “known everything down to his [Johnson’s] inside leg measurement” for some time.

With the extensive scouting Leeds seem to have done, it seems they are very keen on the youngster.

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The West Yorkshire side have been crying out for an attacking midfielder after injuries left a big hole in their side. Indeed, Johnson seems like the type of player that could give them that.

The 20-year-old has been utilised across the midfield and forward line in his career.

As such, he would be a handy asset for Leeds, given they have struggled with injuries in almost every position this season.

Johnson joins Aaronson in Leeds’ transfer plans

Brenden Aaronson takes a tumble playing for RB Salzburg in Champions League game v Lille

Leeds could, therefore, reportedly turn to Johnson this month in an effort to strengthen their midfield.

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Leeds have been tracking Brenden Aaronson for some time. The midfielder, similarly to Johnson, would bring attacking prowess to the Whites.

However, the Whites have seen two offers rejected for the RB Salzburg star.

Despite that, he remains Leeds’ prime target and they could yet launch a summer approach.

What’s more, the USA international is reportedly keen on the move himself.

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But in the meantime, a move for Forest star Johnson could at least fill that midfield void.

READ MORE: Bielsa ‘obsessing over star’ and ‘dreams’ of Leeds transfer, Fabrizio Romano claims

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Tanguy Ndombele Loan Agreed Between Valencia And Tottenham Hotspur

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Maynard reports that a six-month loan has been agreed upon between Valencia and Spurs. However, Tanguy Ndombele’s preference is to join Mauricio Pochettino’s PSG in France.

La Liga side Valencia have agreed to a Tanguy Ndombele loan deal with Tottenham Hotspur, Julien Maynard reports.

The former Lyon midfielder favours a move to Paris Saint-Germain but with the transfer deadline getting closer and closer, he may have to make a decision.

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Valencia are tenth in La Liga and are looking for new life in their midfield to help bridge the seven-point gap between them and the top four places. The Spanish side have been underperforming for some time having finished 13th last season.

Ndombele has featured very little since Antonio Conte’s appointment as Tottenham manager and it’s pretty clear that an exit from the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is on the cards for the 25-year-old Frenchman.

Capped seven times by France, Ndombele’s Spurs career has always been under the spotlight. A signing they hoped would signal the beginning of a new era of success following a Champions League final loss to Liverpool. That never came to fruition and the weight has always been on his shoulders.

His lack of success under demanding managers like Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte speaks for itself and maybe it’s time Ndombele, who started his senior career with Amiens, had a fresh start.

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He is undoubtedly a player with talent and will look to get his career back on the road in the coming months.

Ndombele played 91 games for Tottenham and a loan deal means he might not have made his last appearance, though it’s extremely likely he has. In that time he contributed to 19 goals, scoring ten and assisting nine.

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