Apparently, Manchester United interim boss, Ralf Rangnick has one transfer window as the club manager, but he will be a busy man at the start of 2021.
Rangnick, has spoken of his desire to bring United back into the top four, and RB Leipzig midfielder Amadou Haidara is one of the men most strongly linked in the pursuit of that goal.
It won’t just be about new recruits, though, after a summer of big spending left the club with a packed squad and a few unhappy players after game time hasn’t been spread evenly among the group.
In addition to adding personnel in key positions, Rangnick will need to convince a number of players they still have a future at Old Trafford, amid fears an exodus could leave the top-four push at risk.
Here are a number of players who may be most in need of reassurances.
Greenwood scored United’s first Champions League goal under Rangnick, but the forward’s inclusion in a team backed with fringe players and youngsters suggests he’s not a guaranteed starter just yet.
The England international was making good progress last season, but the introduction of Cristiano Ronaldo into the mix has seen his chances limited.
According to El Nacional, Greenwood is ‘unhappy’ with his lack of playing time prompting some speculation regarding his future, although it is clear United see him as a big part of their future.
But being reminded of his future importance surely wouldn’t be enough for a player who has shown he can already deliver when called upon to do so.
Cavani is another who has struggled for minutes this season, though he showed a readiness to come in from the cold and deliver during Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s tenure.
The Uruguayan has been linked with Barcelona, but Rangnick – when speaking about Cavani’s return to fitness – said “My ambition to work with all the players for most of the season, reduce the number of injuries in the next couple of weeks and months, and having them all on board.”
“I wouldn’t say he is not worth keeping but players need to want to stay and play for the club,” Rangnick said earlier this month when discussing Pogba’s future.
“If a player doesn’t want to play for a club like Manchester United, even in the long term, I don’t think it makes sense to convince him to change his mind.
Pogba is linked to a couple of top European teams like, Real Madrid and Paris Saint Germain. The manager will be keen to reach a resolution sooner rather than later, with the French international’s contract situation adding another element to the challenge.
After looking on the verge of a proper breakthrough last season, Henderson has suffered this term thanks to the form of David de Gea.
It has been reported that he could look to move on having found first-team opportunities hard to come by.
Rangnick’s challenge will be in convincing the Englishman to stay rather than making any false promises about the starting spot, with the presence of two top keepers and just one place in the team always a tough one to navigate.
Henderson is more than six years younger than De Gea, and one would expect another opportunity to come, but it’s about how the manager makes that point to the England international with a World Cup on the horizon.
Lingard could become a beneficiary of Rangnick’s 4-2-2-2 approach, at least in theory, but the player himself will need convincing of his role in that kind of seup.
The 29-year-old is another whose contract is due to expire in the summer, and there could well be interest, especially after his impressive loan spell at West Ham last season.
The academy product is expected to see out the remainder of his United deal, but the challenge comes in making him feel wanted enough to stick around longer – something Solskjaer was unable to follow through on with his team selections.
Donny van de Beek
Another player who found himself frozen out under Solskjaer, Van de Beek has featured more after scoring the last United goal of the Norwegian’s tenure.
The Dutchman is already in a better situation than a few months ago, but may well need assurances that his recent action is not just temporary.
If United make midfield additions in January, the challenge for the manager will become even tougher.
After Rangnick’s comments about Pogba’s future, it may be the case that he decides to let want-away forward Martial leave.
The French international’s agent has made efforts to force through a January exit, and Martial’s desire to move on may leave the interim manager believing there is no point fighting to keep him around.
However, Martial remains a top talent and part of a hugely competitive France set-up, so the quality is still there if the boss does decide Old Trafford remains the best place for the 26-year-old to continue his career.