Man Utd’s best XI if Ruben Neves seals January transfer and Ralf Rangnick tweaks tactics

Ruben Neves: All you need to know about star linked with summer move

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Manchester United are reportedly keen on signing Ruben Neves from Wolves in the January transfer window. The midfielder has dazzled at Molineux ever since touching down from Porto back in 2017. If he does move to Old Trafford, he’ll certainly enhance Ralf Rangnick’s midfield options.

Manchester United need a new midfielder with the likes of Scott McTominay, Nemanja Matic and Fred all blowing hot and cold over the course of the campaign.

Throw in the fact Paul Pogba and Donny van de Beek are expected to leave in the coming months, and the club appear ready to invest in that area this month.

According to The Sun, United are eyeing a £35million deal for Neves – though Wolves are keen to receive a fee in the region of £40m instead.

The Portugal international would represent an upgrade on the current options United have in their squad.

So Express Sport will now take a look at the way Rangnick can set his team out with Neves in it – using a 4-2-3-1 formation instead of his trusted 4-2-2-2.

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Goalkeeper: De Gea

United have had many issues this season.

But David De Gea hasn’t been one of them, with the Spain international finally back to his best after a couple of years of inconsistency.

At the start of the campaign, many expected Dean Henderson to be the club’s No 1 instead – especially after he’d ousted De Gea towards the end of last term.

Yet Henderson suffered from coronavirus earlier in the year, allowing his senior to get into the team almost by default.

With De Gea now resembling the same goalkeeper he was under Jose Mourinho and Louis van Gaal, it’s hard to see him being dropped in the foreseeable future.


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Defence: Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Varane, Shaw

Aaron Wan-Bissaka has struggled this season.

Yet when the former Crystal Palace star is at his best, and Diogo Dalot is too, the right-back just has the edge.

Likewise with Luke Shaw at Alex Telles. Get Shaw back to the player he was last season and the club will be all the better for it.

Victor Lindelof has had a good season.

Yet Harry Maguire and Raphael Varane probably make up the club’s best centre-back pairing, even if their performances this term have left plenty to be desired.

Midfield: Neves, McTominay, Fernandes

If United sign Neves, they could slot him  alongside Scott McTominay in the middle of the park.

Paul Pogba would arguably hope to get back into the team when he finally returns from injury but, given his nature of being good one minute and bad the next, that wouldn’t be the right call.

McTominay has his weaknesses but the Scotland international does have the potential to become a consistent figure in the team.

Playing ahead of the pair, in a 4-2-3-1 formation, would be Bruno Fernandes.

The Portugal international has been out of sorts this season yet the 27-year-old is still the club’s most creative asset.

Forwards: Greenwood, Ronaldo, Sancho

There’s no denying Jadon Sancho has had a rough first year at United since joining from Borussia Dortmund.

However, get the England international fully firing and he’ll be an upgrade on Marcus Rashford on the left wing.

On the right, Mason Greenwood’s recent performances suggest his selection would be the way to go.

And though Edinson Cavani is a valuable member of the squad, Cristiano Ronaldo would expect to get the nod when it comes to the No 9 role.

Some believe Ronaldo is part of the issue at United but, with 14 goals this season, he’s been a rare positive. 

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