Manchester United Transfer Rumors: Sir Alex Ferguson's Deadline Day Targets
With less than 48 hours left in the January transfer window, Manchester United will have to act fast if it wants to make an impact signing that will propel them to another Premier League title.
United has stayed away from the transfer market, with Paul Scholes being the only addition so far.
Sir Alex Ferguson has always been wary of midseason purchases, believing that players can usually be bought at a better price in the summer.
However, injuries to Nemanja Vidic, Phil Jones, and Tom Cleverley have left holes in the defense and midfield, and many quality players could be brought in to fill the gaps.
Here are eight players that would help United in the second half of the season.
8. Shinji Kagawa
Borussia Dortmund's Shinji Kagawa is the type of player who could give the Manchester United midfield a major face lift.
Other than Tom Cleverley's brief stint before his injury, United has struggled to find creativity in the center midfield.
Kagawa is the type of player who can move around the space behind the strikers and be a nightmare for opposing defenses.
He has six goals this season, and has helped his team into a three-way tie at the top of the table in the Bundesliga.
His attacking talents would likely help United with a climb to the top of the table as well.
Ultimately, it will be tough to pry the Japanese star away from his current club, which he claims to be committed to despite interest from United and AC Milan.
7. Daniele De Rossi
While many of the players United has reportedly targeted this January would add flare, Daniele De Rossi would add substance.
The Italian has been linked to a move to Old Trafford since this summer.
De Rossi is a tough and technically sound player, capable of playing a defensive or attacking role in the center of the field.
Roma is 12 points out of first place in Serie A and the team may be looking to sell players to increase its funds for summer transfers.
De Rossi, at 28 years old, is older than Alex Ferguson's typical transfer target, and has had problems with his temper in the past.
However, he still has several productive years left, and his physical style of play would bring a badly-needed edge to the United midfield.
6. Mehdi Benatia
After a horrific knee injury to Nemanja Vidic and an ankle injury to Phil Jones, Manchester United has been shaky along the back line. Udinese's Medhi Benatia would calm many United fans' concerns.
Rio Ferdinand and Chris Smalling have been woefully inconsistent, and Jonny Evans is always a wild card. Benatia is young and athletic, and is capable of playing on the outside or even in the midfield.
The 24-year-old Moroccan is having a fantastic season at Udinese, and Sir Alex Ferguson has been keeping tabs on him.
Benatia would be a welcome addition to the squad, infusing youthful energy and adding depth in the back.
5. Neven Subotic
Borussia Dortmund stands to make a lot of money if it chooses to sell its young talent such as Shinji Kagawa, Mario Goetze, and Neven Subotic.
The Serbian is big and strong, and would fill in nicely for his injured fellow countryman, Nemanja Vidic.
Once Vidic is healthy, the two would form a physical center back duo capable of wreaking havoc opposing attackers.
Subotic would be an ideal addition to the United roster, if the team is willing to open its pocketbook.
4. Javi Garcia
Javi Garcia is another transfer target who would be provide substance and stability rather than flash and flare.
The defensive center midfielder is tall and strong with excellent touch and vision.
The 24-year-old Spaniard has garnered interest from the top clubs in the Premier League, including Manchester United.
The addition of a rock-solid center midfielder would allow Phil Jones to stay along the back line when he returns from injury, and help take pressure off of the entire defense.
Garcia is a player who knows his role on the field, and plays it very well. He would immediately be a starter and one of the best midfielders on the squad if he moves to Manchester.
3. Eden Hazard
Eden Hazard is one of the most coveted young players in the world, and will not be playing in France much longer.
The 21-year-old midfielder has reportedly nixed any notion of January transfer, but claims to be coming to England in the summer.
Hazard has been on a tear through Ligue 1 defenses this season, with eight goals and seven assists. He has helped pull Lille up to third in the table, and has the team competing for a title.
His youthful energy and blistering pace would give United one of the world's most potent attacks.
From all accounts, United would have to make an unexpectedly high offer to pry Hazard away before the January transfer window, but the Belgian can bring a lot to the table, and may be worth the price.
2. Jack Rodwell
Manchester United legend Paul Scholes retired after last season, and the team searched in vain to replace him. The midfielder eventually returned a few weeks ago, but Everton's Jack Rodwell could be the man who succeeds Scholes as United's midfield general.
Rodwell has been pegged as one of England's future stars, and has been linked to a move to Manchester.
The Everton star brings the same level of toughness to the center of the field that Scholes brought for so many years.
He is a versatile player, and can fill in at center back when needed to.
Manchester United would do well to snag him before the transfer window closes, as a breakout in Euro 2012 could cause his price to skyrocket.
1. Nicolas Gaitan
Nicolas Gaitan has every necessary quality to be a dynamic offensive player, and the Premier League's top clubs have taken notice.
United have gone after Gaitan as furiously as any player they have shown interest in this January, and are reportedly ready to spend £29 million on him.
He has pace and skill, and his creativity frustrates opposing defenses.
United's need for a creative attacking midfielder has been no secret, and Gaitan would be a perfect fit at Old Trafford.