Man Utd braced for first Carrick raid as Middlesbrough boss targets midfielder Old Trafford chiefs do not want to lose

Ralf Rangnick with Zidane Iqbal and Charlie Savage Credit: Alamy
Ralf Rangnick with Zidane Iqbal and Charlie Savage Credit: Alamy

After his appointment at Middlesbrough, Manchester United legend Michael Carrick is already planning a transfer raid on his former club, according to a report.

Carrick recently took on his first job as a manager by replacing Chris Wilder at Middlesbrough. He previously learned his trade among the Manchester United staff after his respectable playing career there.

Manchester United fans will no doubt be keeping an eye on how their former midfielder and caretaker manager gets on. But there could be an extra layer of intrigue if he takes one or two of their players away.

Middlesbrough might need reinforcements during the January transfer window, since they are only one point above the Championship relegation zone after 18 games.

With that in mind, many are predicting that Carrick will use his connections at Manchester United to bring in some useful talents.

According to Football League World, one of his targets has now become clear. Per the report, Carrick wants Manchester United to let him have Zidane Iqbal.

The midfielder made his Manchester United debut last year in a Champions League clash with Young Boys. Now, he is on the periphery of Erik ten Hag’s squad.

Iqbal is rated highly at Old Trafford, so Manchester United officials do not want to lose him. That said, they could allow him to leave on loan, which might benefit his development.

The 19-year-old signed a contract extension until 2025 with the option of a further year back in June.

Therefore, there is no immediate rush for him to earn his place at Manchester United. A loan might be exactly what he needs at this stage.

Man Utd should consider Zidane Iqbal loan idea

Iqbal has featured twice each in the Premier League 2 and EFL Trophy for Manchester United’s youth sides this season. In addition, he was an unused substitute for all six of the senior team’s Europa League group matches, as well as two Premier League games so far.

But the Iraq international needs to be playing regularly so he can start to flourish in the senior game. Therefore, Manchester United might give thought to any approach from Middlesbrough.

It is in their best interests to give Iqbal the chance to express himself. But it is obvious at this stage that he is not going to get many minutes under Ten Hag.

In the first team, Manchester United can already call upon senior players like Casemiro, Christian Eriksen, Bruno Fernandes, Fred, Scott McTominay and Donny van de Beek in their midfield.

Although some of those have been struggling for gametime too, they remain ahead of a youngster like Iqbal in the pecking order. That should emphasise why it would be useful for him to go out on loan for the time being.

And there would be few better people to learn from about acquiring what it takes to succeed in a Manchester United midfield than Carrick.

The Middlesbrough manager made more than 460 appearances for the Red Devils, winning 17 trophies along the way. Now, he has to pass his expertise onto the next generation.

Perhaps Iqbal could benefit from some guidance from the 41-year-old. It will certainly be an option to keep an eye on as January approaches.

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