Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson typically prefers to do his dealings toward the start of the transfer window. But that trend could be bucked in 2013.
Even with Wilfried Zaha now in tow, the Red Devils are still actively linked with numerous targets throughout the western hemisphere. Some rumors have more credence than others, but given United's budget, nothing is ever out of the realm of possibility.
Here's the latest on three of Ferguson's most recent rumored targets:
The young Belgian playmaker has made headlines for more than just his afro this season. Fellaini has been a run-of-play revelation for Everton this year, posting nine goals in 21 appearances, but he's also let his temper get the best of him to a malignant degree.
Still, Manchester United are curiously piqued by Fellaini's skill and could soon find themselves in a blue-chip bout with Chelsea to acquire his services.
Per The Daily Mirror:
According to a report in The Times, it's Chelsea who are leading the chase - but the Manchester Evening News put United at the front of the pack.
Both clubs have issues with elderly types clogging up midfield as they shuffle towards retirement - Frank Lampard for Chelsea, and Paul Scholes for United.
Fellaini signed a five-year deal with the Toffees in 2011, but his contract included a get-out clause that the Blues and Red Devils could both take advantage of. Should Everton receive a bid of £22million or more from a Champions League club, they would be forced to accept it.
If he can keep his head squarely on his shoulders (both literally and figuratively), Fellaini is almost certainly worth that price. However, it would certainly be a risk for either side to roll the dice on someone so mercurial.
Alex Ferguson has taken keen interest in Celtic's Wanyama for quite some time, but United have yet to strike. Many speculate that could mean a temporary end for their courtship of the young Kenyan, but new reports might suggest otherwise.
Per The Daily Mirror:
While his United squad prepared for Saturday's FA Cup tie with Fulham in the heat of Qatar, Ferguson was back in the freezing cold of his native Glasgow to check on Kenya midfielder Wanyama.
Ferguson himself was at Celtic Park last night to watch the 4-0 win over Dundee United in the Scottish Premier League, with midfield enforcer Wanyama excelling in front of the Old Trafford boss.
The article goes on to speculate that Wanyama would cost something in the realm of £10million to acquire, though United would surely try to haggle that down a few pegs.
Either way, it's a pricey sum to pay unless Ferguson and Co. are fully sold on Wanyama as a midfield upgrade.
The Porto winger, dubbed by some as the next Cristiano Ronaldo, has long been an object of affection for Ferguson and other Premiership sides. According to The Mirror, United's boss has scouted the 21-year-old prodigy an absurd seven times (as of November).
More recent reports suggest that Rodriguez's future might be closely connected to fellow Portuguese winger Nani, who's fallen out of favor at Old Trafford. Per The Mirror:
The Portuguese winger has fallen out of favour at Old Trafford following a series of bust ups with Sir Alex Ferguson - and has not started a league game since November.
Both Arsenal and Juventus have been linked with £20million moves for the forward whose contract expires in 2014.
United have also been keeping track of Porto winger James Rodriguez who has been dubbed 'the new Cristiano Ronaldo' - with the possibility of including Nani as part of the deal.
Unlike Fellaini and Wanyama, Rodriguez's move to Old Trafford wouldn't necessarily demand immediate results (although they would certainly be welcome).
Ferguson might just be suffering bouts of nostalgia from his days with the original Cristiano Ronaldo, seeking a way to relive those halcyon matches.