Ralf Rangnick’s appointment at Old Trafford in November led to heavy rumours that RB Leipzig’s Amadou Haidara would be his first signing.
Almost two months later, Manchester United are still on the hunt for a midfielder and a deal for Haidara is yet to progress.
However, the Red Devils have now been handed a boost in their pursuit of the 23-year-old.
Haidara has been on international duty with Mali at the Africa Cup of Nations this month, meaning negotiations for the player had been put on the backburner.
Haidara’s national team took on Equatorial Guinea yesterday and faced a shock elimination from the tournament as their opponents came out on top in the penalty shoot-out.
The midfielder will now return to Germany, making a deal to join Manchester United a lot more likely in the coming days.
Haidara has a £33 million release clause in his contract but this won’t become active until the summer, meaning Rangnick’s side will have to negotiate a deal if they are to snap him up this month.
The Red Devils are yet to make any signings in the transfer window, but have seen Axel Tuanzebe and Anthony Martial leave the club on loan.
The Premier League club may be waiting until a new permanent manager is appointed in the summer before they fund any potential arrivals, however their need for a midfielder is becoming increasingly desperate.
Haidara had attracted interest from a number of clubs including Newcastle United, but the Red Devils may have the upper hand given his love for the club.
Speaking to Sport BILD in December, Haidara said: “Everyone had a favourite team as a child. Mine was United. I was a big fan of Cristiano Ronaldo, liked Paul Scholes, Patrice Evra, Edwin van der Sar, Anderson.”
With four days remaining of the transfer window, Manchester United will have to act fast if they are to sign snap up their target.