Manchester United: 5 Transfer Targets Sir Alex Could Miss out on in January
It's pretty much official—Manchester United will not make a rare foray into the upcoming winter transfer market.
This comes from the top—manager Sir Alex Ferguson recently revealed to journalists that "I will not be bringing anybody in, in January - definitely not" (via Daily Mail).
While the wily, old Scotsman has made similar previous claims and still revitalised his squad, one has to take his word at face value this time around.
United spent close to £40 million on the likes of Robin van Persie, Shinji Kagawa and Nick Powell in the summer.
The possible sale of the unsettled Nani would be unlikely to bring in more than say £12-15 million—not really enough to land a primary transfer target.
Then there's the minor detail that the Red Devils currently top the Premier League standings, and have qualified for the knockout stages of Champions League competition.
On paper, could fans have asked for much more?
In Sir Alex's mind, it may seem like any January activity would potentially look like panic buying, especially since it's been a long held tradition for teams of his to start playing their best football in the new year.
Nevertheless, even if Manchester United remain dormant in the next transfer window, other clubs are sure to make high profile signings.
Here are five renowned players, and known targets for Fergie, that could move elsewhere next month, and deprive the club the chance to sign a top, top talent.
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Celtic's man mountain Victor Wanyama has put many a European side on red alert with his barnstorming displays in this season's Champions League competition.
Though he would be cup tied for those clubs still in the prestigious tournament, there are likely to be plenty others interested in acquiring his services (via The Independent).
He is a player who could instantly slot into the Red Devils team, and fill a much needed gap in defensive midfield.
For a full scouting report on the box-to-box Kenyan, check out a piece I wrote last month.
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If you've been paying any attention to Porto this season either domestically or on the continent, you couldn't have helped noticing the effervescent displays of one James Rodriguez.
The attacking midfielder seems to improve every time he takes the field, and has already nabbed seven goals in 13 games in all competitions to show for it.
A footballer with immense potential, he would be almost certain to eclipse the accomplishments of the similar Nani at Old Trafford were he to make the rumoured move (via The Mirror).
If not, who knows where he may end up?
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The trail linking Manchester United with Malaga's wonderkid Isco may not be as hot at present as it was in the summer, but rest assured, Fergie would love to have a player of his quality on the books at Old Trafford.
Though the attacking midfielder may not fit the bill in terms of the type of player needed, his emergence this season as a burgeoning world class talent has alerted just about every top club in England and beyond (via The Mirror).
He has exceptional technique, devastating dribbling abilities and an eye for a defence-splitting pass.
Those in Andalusia may try their darndest to hold on to the jewel in their crown, but if an irresistible offer arrives on the doorstep, the cash-strapped side may have to relent.
Like Wanyama, Kevin Strootman is the type of player United are in desperate need of at present.
He is a physical force that protects the back line, but also a domineering box-to-box player that provides the attack with a creative presence going forward.
Strootman is a player that has long been tracked by those at Old Trafford, but then so have the scouts at the Emirates Stadium and White Hart Lane (via Daily Mail).
For more on why the Dutchman would be a perfect fit for Manchester United, check out this recent article.
Compared to the other players on this list, Alen Halilovic is included for slightly different reasons.
He is a 16-year-old, 5'7" playmaker who has only made appearances in the single figures for current club Dinamo Zagreb.
The lively Croatian would truly be one for the future, but with Manchester City reportedly circling, January might have to be the time for Sir Alex and United to pounce (via Daily Mail).
Here's a scouting report for the player tipped by some to be the next Luka Modric.
Do you think Manchester United need to make a winter signing? Who would be top of your list?