Ralf Rangnick previews Newcastle United clash
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Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick is planning to rival Chelsea for the signing of Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves next month, according to reports. The 63-year-old is currently gearing up for his first and only transfer window in charge of the Red Devils ahead of the Premier League run-in.
United currently occupy seventh place in the table, eight points adrift of fourth-placed Arsenal but with three games in hand.
They have enjoyed a slight resurgence under Rangnick’s guidance, with the German coach yet to taste defeat since taking his place in the dugout earlier this month.
He will undoubtedly be looking to use the mid-season market to his advantage over the coming weeks in order to strengthen his ranks in time for the business end of the campaign.
The Red Devils have been widely tipped to pursue the signing of a new midfielder to provide the likes of Fred and Scott McTominay with some additional competition for places in the engine room.
The aforementioned pair have struggled to impress since the beginning of the season and are yet to establish themselves as a top-class partnership with the ability to challenge for Premier League titles.
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A number of high-profile names have been linked with United as of late, including the likes of RB Leipzig ace Amadou Haidara and Marseille anchor Boubacar Kamara.
However, it seems as though Rangnick may decide to chase a player with Premier League experience by joining Chelsea in the race to land Neves.
The Wolves man has already been identified as a target by those in command at Old Trafford, according to The Sun.
The report claims that Chelsea have also been keeping tabs on the 24-year-old, suggesting that a two-horse race for his signature could be set to take shape before the end of next month.
Neves remains under contract at Wolves until the summer of 2024, with the bidding expected to start at around £35million at the turn of the year.
However, it remains to be seen whether United will be able to successfully bring the Portuguese maestro to Manchester at the expense of Chelsea.
Recent reports have suggested that Rangnick was targeting the addition of a tall midfielder ahead of next month, but he appears to be making an exception for Neves, who is a regular starter alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes at international level.
Wolves boss Bruno Lage recently insisted that he will not allow Neves to leave the club without a fight after managing to keep hold of him throughout the summer window.
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“This is life after the big teams come for this player,” Lage told reporters when quizzed on the midfielder’s future earlier this season.
“I live with the rumour he can leave but he stayed with us. In this way he took the best decision. Don’t go, stay and continue to improve with us and help us to be better.
“Let’s see what happens. What Nuno did was very good and I want to continue with that. The project is to take Wolves to the next step.
“From the club’s side we need to conquer our players to stay with us. Not just with a contract and salary but more ambition to be better.”
Neves has featured in all but one of his side’s Premier League matches so far this season, chipping in with a goal and an assist in the process.
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