Now that the January transfer window is open for business, Manchester United have assumed their role as one of the most talked about clubs. Between now and February there will countless players linked to the Red Devils.
While many of the rumors will never result in actual deals, it's always interesting for fans to consider the wide-ranging possibilities. Any player who arrives at Old Trafford will receive an amazing opportunity, but will also be under plenty of pressure.
It usually takes some time before the market heats up, but let's take a look at some of the early reports making the rounds and examine what they would mean for United.
Few players generated more interest leading up to January than Zaha. The 20-year-old Crystal Palace rising star has illustrated tremendous potential, which has high-profile clubs like the Red Devils looking to land him before his value skyrockets.
Jamie Jackson of the Guardian reports United face competition from Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham, which shows exactly how coveted the young striker is around the Premier League. The asking price is apparently around £10 million.
Even though the Red Devils already feature plenty of attacking talent, led by EPL leading scorer Robin van Persie, a club can never have enough depth in that area. Acquiring Zaha now and letting him develop at Old Trafford is an extremely intriguing idea.
Nani is the most popular name in terms of players potentially leaving the Red Devils. The Portuguese winger featured prominently for United in recent seasons, but has struggled to find elite form during the first half of the campaign.
Despite the constant rumors about his future, manager Sir Alex Ferguson doesn't plan on moving him in January, according to Jonathan Northcroft of the Sunday Times. He states the club is instead hoping to extend his contract beyond 2014.
As Nani continues to work back from a hamstring injury, Ferguson must figure out how he will best fit in a lineup that has been on quite a roll lately. He doesn't want to disrupt the rhythm, but Nani has too much talent to keep sidelined when healthy.
As Chelsea begin to look toward the future, choices will need to get made about several key players, including Lampard. Right now, it appears he is an odd man out and that has led to plenty of speculation about where he might land.
That's led to one of the more interesting reports about the window so far, with Ian Ladyman of the Daily Mail reporting both EPL powerhouse clubs from Manchester are tracking Lampard. His contract is up at season's end.
Although a summer move would seem more likely given the circumstances, Lampard would provide some valuable veteran experience down the stretch if Ferguson wanted to add more depth. He proved against Everton that he can still compete at a high level with two key goals.
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