Manchester United are prepared to sign a defensive midfielder during the January transfer window in a bid to address the club’s ‘midfield imbalance’.
The signing of a new midfielder had been made the next priority by the Red Devils’ hierarchy following the closure of the summer window and plans to add reinforcements will be accelerated under interim boss Ralf Rangnick.
United will target a defensive-minded midfielder should the right profile of player become available and the club have been linked with RB Leipzig’s Amadou Haidara, who is understood to possess a release clause of £33m in his contract at the Bundesliga side.
The Manchester Evening News are reporting that the 23-year-old has become of interest to the Red Devils since the appointment of former Red Bull sporting director Rangnick, though the Mali international will be on duty at the Africa Cup of Nations next month.
Former manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had been interested in signing a midfielder during the summer, but deals for Cristiano Ronaldo, Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho meant the pursuit was postponed.
United have previously denied reports of interest in Monaco’s Aurelien Tchouameni, whilst the signing of Declan Rice was deemed unfeasible last summer with the Hammers having placed a £100m price-tag on the England international.
Fred and Scott McTominay have often been used in defensive roles for the Red Devils, though neither are specialised anchors and there is a lack of depth beyond that duo amongst Rangnick’s current options.