Ralf Rangnick has already made his best January transfer call as Man Utd boss

Ralf Rangnick praises reaction of Man Utd after Burnley win

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Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick isn’t expected to do too much in the January transfer window, but it seems he has already made the smartest decision he could. Rangnick, who is in charge on an interim basis until the end of the season, has confirmed he wants forward Edinson Cavani to stay, a move that could help his side finish in the top four.

United have often been accused of being a club without a long-term plan.

Stumbling through the last few years without any silverware and relying on the brilliance of Cristiano Ronaldo this season is evidence of that.

But the appointment of Rangnick on an interim basis – with a view to him becoming an advisor at the end of the season – was a masterstroke.

The former Red Bull chief will no doubt be planning long-term, and it seems he is already doing so with news he has told Cavani he will not be permitted to leave in January.

Rumours had circulated about the future of the Uruguayan, who will be a free agent at the end of the season.

Reports had linked Cavani with a potential move to Barcelona, while Boca Juniors are said to be interested.

But keeping him until the end of the season and letting him leave for nothing might not be the most financially sensible decision, but it shows a long-term plan.

United have a host of young players, including Mason Greenwood, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho. Those young players need leadership.

Take Arsenal for example, their core of young players failed to hang onto a lead against Manchester City on Saturday and some lost their heads in the absence of someone to look up to.

Cavani, like Ronaldo, provides just that and will do for the rest of the season.

The battle for the top-four will be a difficult one, with Arsenal and Tottenham set to push them right to the end.

But United have what Arsenal don’t at the moment – experienced heads in the squad to set an example for the youngsters.

Keeping Cavani also suggests at short-term planning to get through to the end of the season and bring in a new centre-forward in the summer transfer window.

The Red Devils will likely enter into the race to sign Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund, and swapping the ageing Cavani for a 21-year-old hotshot is a clear indication of long-term planning.

Much has been made of Rangnick’s prior relationship with Haaland, who he wrorked with during the striker’s spell at RB Salzburg.

And if he can somehow work a way to beat Real Madrid and Bayern Munich to his signature, it would be a major statement of intent.

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