Manchester United Transfers: 5 Reds Who Need to Be Offloaded in January

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Manchester United Transfers: 5 Reds Who Need to Be Offloaded in January
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images
Kevin Strootman: Coming To Manchester United?

Sir Alex Ferguson has previously eschewed the transfer market for Manchester United in January. This time it could be different. With a couple of pieces of the jigsaw still to fill, he also has players he would probably be prepared to sell.

One reason to offload players is if new signings come in for their position. Kevin Strootman is one such possibility.

Some could be surplus to requirements. Others could be let go for the benefit of their own future development. Some could be available to sweeten the pill in a part-exchange or swap deal. 

Manchester United have up to 80 players eligible for their First Team squad, including Under 21s. Sir Alex Ferguson likes having options for his team. Apart from anything else, it creates competition for places.

He also only wants players who want to play for the red shirt. Much though it upset him that Paul Pogba wanted to leave, what is the point of keeping a player whose heart isn't in Old Trafford?

There are plenty more who want to stay or want to come. Robin van Persie, for example, chose to leave Arsenal for United because the latter "breathes football."

Sadly, the other side of the story is of players who would give their right arms to succeed at United but simply won't make it. There are also the Pogbas, Fryers and Morrisons who are too impatient to take their chances.

Nevertheless, it is likely that many who leave Old Trafford have a sense of disappointment. With such a huge squad and an army of talented youngsters coming through, Sir Alex has some tough decisions to make in January and next summer.


Incoming transfers could hold the key

With the new Chevrolet deal and the bumper Sky contract starting soon, a profitable United should have funds available in every transfer window for the foreseeable future.

The apparent activity and interest in the last couple of summers suggest that Sir Alex still has one or two ideas in mind.

When all his defenders are fully fit, he shouldn't have any problems across the back. Evra and Buttner should be complemented by Fabio's return next summer. At right back there are options beyond Rafael with Smalling, Jones and the emerging Marnick Vermijl and Michael Keane.

His centre backs have shown a certain fragility last season and this. Sir Alex may well have concluded that he needs even more cover. OK, he has Wootton and Keane (and a load of other young players) coming through.

But they are still developing, and if this is his last season as manager, he will desperately want to win both the Premier League and the UEFA Champions League.

So it is not surprising that he has been linked with Brede Hangeland, whose contract with Fulham runs out next summer. Not only would the Norwegian giant provide cover for Vidic at the back, but he would feed off Valencia's crosses up front.

Together with Ferdinand, Vidic and Evra, he could be phased out as the younger players mature.


Further midfield signings

While Sir Alex talks only of a "holding" rather than "defensive" midfield, citing Carrick and Fletcher, he surely cannot have missed the growing clamour for the latter. People tend to think of Roy Keane as such, but in truth United have not had a box-to-box player like him since he went.

Plenty of names have been linked in the past, such as Tiote from Newcastle. While Ferguson has great belief in Carrick and Fletcher, he surely could make at least occasional use of a midfield destroyer like Daniele De Rossi.

The name most commonly cited is Kevin Strootman and this rumour has been revived this week.

So Sir Alex has plenty of reasons to consider letting players go in January. There will inevitably be some going out on loan. If, for example, Hangeland came in then Michael Keane and Michele Fornasier would be prime candidates.

Apart from these, which players are possibilities to leave the club altogether?

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