Manchester United Winter Transfer News: Tracking Latest Rumours, Updates
Though it only seems like yesterday that the summer transfer window closed, the drama of silly season returns in a little over a month's time.
Manchester United have not typically been an active club in the January market, but with Sir Alex Ferguson's side having shown real weaknesses in certain areas of the pitch this term, the Scotsman may not be so opposed to bringing in reinforcements.
All the players linked with a move to Old Trafford and the swelling rumours from this past week are tracked here, though as always be prepared to treat them as such.
Your best guess is as good as the Daily Mail's.
Leighton Baines for £8 Million + Evra
Though £8 million is the price quoted by the tabloid, it seems a little more incentive may need to be added into the equation to sweeten the deal for the Toffees.
According to the report, "David Moyes would ideally like to take Patrice Evra to Goodison as part of the deal. Without Evra, the fee would rise to £11m."
While it is difficult to believe that Moyes wants Evra at Goodison Park, Everton have long been a club that finds it near impossible to resist a big money offer for one of its players.
Verdict: Wait for next summer.
City to Make a Move for United Target Alen Halilovic
Dinamo Zagreb's pocket playmaker Alen Halilovic has been tipped as a future star for both club and country.
The 16-year-old has reportedly been tracked by the likes of United and Barcelona, but a report last week claimed that Manchester City were ready to make a concrete offer for his services as soon as possible.
If Sir Alex wants to sign the man (or "boy") tipped as his nation's next big thing, he may need to act soon before another starlet is stolen from his grasp.
Verdict: Act now Sir Alex or forever hold your peace.
Pep Guardiola Favours a Move to Old Trafford
British tabloid The Sun claimed last week that former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola has set his sights on replacing Sir Alex when the Scotsman eventually decides to walk away from the biggest job in football.
A source supposedly close to Guardiola revealed that "the whole history of Manchester United, his relationship with Sir Alex and the way the club is run appeals to Pep."
It is not yet known whether or not Ferguson will step down at the end of the current season, but the report states that "Guardiola would be prepared to hold out for another year."
Whether this is the case or not, it's easy to believe that the Spanish manager favours the prospect of working with the Glazers to Chelsea's trigger happy owner Roman Abramovich.
Verdict: Of course he wants to come to Old Trafford, why wouldn't he?
Christian Eriksen Rejects Contract Offer, Could United Swoop?
Long term Manchester United transfer target Christian Eriksen has reportedly rejected Ajax's latest contract offer, suggesting that a move abroad may soon be on the cards for the Dane (via Inside Futbol).
Club sporting director Marc Overmars revealed "we want Christian to sign a new contract, but it is not currently something he wants to do."
But the playmaker refuted this, saying "I did not say that I do not want to sign a new contract, but the club know that I want to keep my options open. I need, at any time, to be able to look forward."
Verdict: Right player, wrong position.
United Chase Henrik Larsson's Son
The Sunday People claims that Manchester United are chasing the signature of Hogaborgs BK youngster Jordan Larsson (h/t The Mirror).
The 15-year-old midfielder is the son of former Red Devil Henrik Larsson, and has impressed many scouts with his style of play.
While striker Henrik Larsson didn't spend much time at Old Trafford, the Swedish legend is fondly thought of by fans of the club.
If his son is half the player he was at his peak, good things lie in wait for the fledgling.
Verdict: Wait and see.
Move for Wilfried Zaha May Have to Wait
A source deep inside the Palace ranks has claimed that "It would be easy to cash in on Wilfried in January, but the feeling at the club is that it would be a false economy."
"It is a case of giving it our best shot to win promotion, and that means keeping Wilfried at Selhurst Park."
The story also states that, considering his blistering start to the Championship season, the price quoted for Zaha's signature is £20 million.
Verdict: £20 million? No thanks.
Cristiano Ronaldo Has No Plans to Return to Manchester
In a bid to quell a fantastic rumour that has been making the rounds in recent weeks, Cristiano Ronaldo felt obliged to break the hearts of many a United fan this past weekend.
He had reportedly met up with former boss Sir Alex Ferguson last week with the Scotsman having watched Real Madrid's Champions League clash with Manchester City.
When asked if a potential return to Old Trafford may be on the cards in the near future, the Portuguese superstar told reporters "No. We didn't speak about that. We just talked about his times with Manchester United and mine with Real Madrid."
While a dream transfer should never be ruled out, United fans will have to "make do" with Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney for now.
Verdict: Should we be surprised?
Kevin Strootman Poised for United Move
It cannot be denied that the position United are most in need of reinforcements in is defensive midfield.
PSV's box-to-box tough guy Kevin Strootman has been touted as a possible solution to an ongoing problem since the summer, and according to TalkSport, January may finally bring an end to the transfer saga.
The news site claims that "United are ready to press ahead with a move for Kevin Strootman, and PSV are already planning for his departure."
It will supposedly cost the Red Devils £14 million to fill an increasingly exploitable hole in their team.
Verdict: Yes please.
What do you make of the latest Manchester United transfer rumours? Who would you like the club to sign in January?