• Nemanja Matic is contracted with Man Utd until 2023
  • He does not play frequently for the club anymore
  • However, Rangnick values his leadership skills

Manchester United reportedly are looking for a "tall" midfielder to replace Nemanja Matic ahead of the January transfer window.

Matic has had a roller-coaster career at Old Trafford. Even though he may not be regular on the field for Manchester United these days, interim boss Ralf Rangnick values his leadership skills in the dressing room. Therefore, Rangnick wants Matic’s replacement in place before the latter departs from the club.

Even though Fred has improved recently in the midfield, Rangnick believes he still needs a tall, domineering presence in central midfield, similar to the style of Matic, reported The Athletic.

Matic, who moved from Chelsea to Manchester United in 2017 at $53 million, earlier signed a new deal and is contracted with the Red Devils until 2023. However, the 33-year-old midfielder is not seen on the field frequently for the Premier League club. Out of Manchester United’s 16 league games, Matic has featured only in eight, starting five of those. In addition, Matic has played only one match in the UEFA Champions League, while the Red Devils have played six.

Two top targets of Manchester United ahead of the January market are Declan Rice and Jude Bellingham, according to Eurosport. However, it is believed to be near impossible to attain either of the players in January and the Red Devils will have to wait until the summer to make a move for them.

Rangnick’s new assistant Chris Armas, meanwhile, is said to be a huge admirer of U.S. national Tyler Adams, who currently plays for RB Leipzig and is similar to Fred in the physique.

Meanwhile, Scott McTominay has played regularly for Manchester United under the reign of Rangnick but the Scottish midfielder is not considered as a long-term replacement for Matic.

Nemanja Matic
Nemanja Matic moved from Chelsea to Man Utd in 2017 Reuters

In addition, Rangnick recently admitted that signing new players in January is the not best way, as per his experience.

"From my experience, winter is not the best time for sustainable transfers and with the quality of players we have here, it would in theory only make sense if you can get players who can guarantee you more quality. From experience, this will be difficult in the winter," Rangnick said in a recent press conference.

It has also been reported that Manchester United are planning to block Edinson Cavani's move to FC Barcelona in January.

Manchester United will next play in the Premier League Monday when they take a trip to St. James’ Park. They are currently placed sixth in the 2021-22 Premier League table.