Man Utd transfer round-up: De Jong harbours transfer doubts as Lingard handed lifeline

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Manchester United are set for a busy January as they eye up reinforcements amid suggestions that recently-appointed interim manager Ralf Rangnick will be given funds to spend

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Man Utd v Brentford postponed due to COVID

Ralf Rangnick has enjoyed a positive start to his Manchester United tenure, but will be made to wait for his next outing after the Red Devils’ Premier League clash with Brentford was postponed due to a Covid outbreak.

Shortly before midnight on Monday, United confirmed that the game would no longer take place as planned following crisis talks with the Premier League after a number of players and staff tested positive.

It remains to be seen when Rangnick’s men will next take to the field as the pandemic continues to cause havoc with football’s notoriously cluttered festive schedule.

While it’s set to be a hectic December on the pitch, it could well be a busy one off it come January as the transfer window re-opens and the recently-appointed Rangnick will have a chance to bolster and fine-tune his current United squad.

Despite last summer’s spending spree, which saw the high-profile arrivals of Raphael Varane, Jason Sancho and the returning Cristiano Ronaldo, Rangnick is reportedly set to be offered a £100million war-chest as United look to embark on a new era.

As the January window edges ever nearer, Mirror Football takes a closer look at all the transfer activity coming out of a Covid-affected Old Trafford.

Who should Manchester United sign in January? Let us know in the comments below!

United join Rudiger race

Antonio Rudiger has hogged the headlines in recent weeks as his Chelsea contract stand-off continues to rumble on.

The German defender, whose current deal expires next summer, appears reluctant to sign an extension amid reports the Blues are baulking at his excessive wage demands.

While The Guardian report that Real Madrid are leading the race for his signature, and could agree a deal in principle ahead of a free summer move from as early as January 1, it appears they will face competition from one of Chelsea’s Premier League rivals.

According to Sky Deutschland, United have emerged as an ‘additional contender’ in the race for Rudiger’s services in a saga that reports in Germany are labelling as ‘transfer poker’.

However, the Red Devils aren’t the only club said to be rivalling the La Liga table-toppers for the 28-year-old’s signature, with European giants Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munch both reportedly keen on luring him away from Stamford Bridge.

Weather worries for De Jong

With Rangnick having reportedly earmarked the middle of the park as a key area for development during impressive discussions with the club’s hierarchy prior to his United appointment, one midfielder being linked with a move to Old Trafford is that of cash-strapped Barcelona’s Frenkie De Jong.

However, it appears both United and Bayern have both been dealt a blow in their pursuit of his services, according to De Jong’s father, with the Manchester weather revealed to be a concern.

“It’s often bad weather there,” De Jong’s father told Dutch publication Algemeen Dagblad (AD). “Of course it’s about football, but it does matter.

“Of course I know that Barcelona needs money and a great offer for Frenkie could help, but I don’t see it happening anytime soon. Although, five top European clubs have all called. ”

He added: “They (De Jong and his partner Mikky Kiemeney) are having such a great time in Barcelona. Life is great there. I’m there often. Even now you are in the sun with 16 degrees.”

Lingard given a lifeline

In addition to talk of potential Old Trafford incomings, a number of United’s stars have been touted with moves away when the transfer window re-opens in January.

One such name being linked with a departure is Jesse Lingard, who is reportedly attracting interest from the likes of Newcastle and West Ham, the club he enjoyed a fruitful loan spell with during the second half of last season.

After falling out of favour under former manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Lingard looked set to seek first-team football elsewhere, but the arrival of Rangnick appears to have changed that.

According to Manchester Evening News, Lingard is believed to be optimistic about receiving more game-time under the recently-appointed German and will fight for his place at United.

The 28-year-old decided against pushing for transfer away in the summer on the back of Solskjaer’s assurances and was initially believed to have grown frustrated having been misled.