Manchester United Transfers: 5 Youngsters United Could Sign in January

Max TowleAnalyst IDecember 31, 2012

Manchester United Transfers: 5 Youngsters United Could Sign in January

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    Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed that he is "not looking to do any serious transfer business in January" (via

    But for those familiar with the wily Scotsman, a foray into the winter transfer market is by no means out of the question, especially considering the Red Devils' patchy form this term.

    Indeed, Fergie went on to say that "as always, we will be on the lookout for young players of potential who we can develop."

    Here are five candidates for such a purchase—five players who have been heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford in the past few months.

    Prices may vary.

Alen Halilovic

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    Dinamo Zagreb's pocket playmaker Alen Halilovic has been attracting interest from major clubs across Europe since breaking into the Croatian club's first team in 2012.

    Since then he has broken records left, right and centre, becoming the youngest goalscorer in Prva HNL history, as well as the youngest to feature in Champions League competition.

    According to the British tabloid Daily Mail, Manchester City and Real Madrid are United's biggest rivals in the race for Halilovic's signature. The youngster has even been allowed to train with the Madrid first team as Jose Mourinho monitors his progress closely.

    For those unfamiliar with his playing style, think a speedy, trickier version of Luka Modric. Not a bad prospect, right?

Hector Herrera

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    Olympic Gold medalist (yes, you read that right) Hector Herrera may not have a name instantly recognisable to those who follow Europe's top leagues, but he is a talent worthy of the tag "future star."

    The Pachuca midfielder put scouts on notice with his performances at the London Games as a key member of the Mexican side that upset Brazil in the final at Wembley.

    Andres Fassi, Pachuca's sporting director, recently claimed that Hererra is "going to emigrate to England. Manchester United and Liverpool have talked to us" in an interview with Raza Deportiva (h/t The Guardian).

    If Ferguson decides to pull the trigger, the youngster will hope to follow in the footsteps of fellow countryman Javier Hernandez, who has exceeded expectations at Old Trafford since arriving in 2010.

Thomas Ince

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    Blackpool ace Thomas Ince is another rumoured target for Ferguson who has set tongues wagging in the gossip columns in past weeks.

    The winger, who can also double as an attacking midfielder, has starred for the Tangerines since moving from Liverpool in 2011, scoring an eye-catching 20 goals in only 59 Championship appearances.

    United face stiff competition for the son of Paul, a former Red Devil, from Liverpool, who are rumoured to have already had a £6million deal fall through (via The Mirror).

    But with Fergie's top scouts following his every kick, the Manchester club are in a good position to pounce should Blackpool decide to part with their crown jewel (via Daily Mail).

Kurt Zouma

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    The word "prodigious" barely does 18-year-old central defender Kurt Zouma credit.

    Saint-Etienne handed Zouma a first team debut at the age of 16, and although he has suffered the odd setback since then, he has impressed many in France with his mature performances at the back for the historic Ligue 1 side.

    The Mirror claim that Manchester United are desperate to secure his services in a deal potentially worth as much as £9 million, as soon as possible.

    The player himself has spoken of his awareness of the rumours, revealing to Le10 that "It is true that it is flattering. I'm glad I know I'm watched but for now I mainly want to find my place [at Etienne] after my injury of several weeks" (via

Wilfried Zaha

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    Last but certainly not least, we come to Wilfried Zaha, a player whose name, if you are a regular reader of Britain's tabloids, you should be rather sick of hearing by now.

    The Crystal Palace starlet has been linked to just about every one of the country's top clubs, not least of all Manchester United, since the summer.

    The latest rumour doing the rounds comes hot off the stove from the Daily Mail, who claim that "Crystal Palace will reject Manchester United's opening offer of £8 million" for the winger.

    If Ferguson really is keen on bringing the skillful youngster to Old Trafford, it is thought a bid of close to twice that amount may be needed to be made.


    Which talented prodigy would you like to see United sign? Are there other players not included on this list who should have been?