David Moyes' first summer transfer window may not have been a particularly busy one, but the Manchester United manager looks set to rectify that with a raft of business this January.
According to numerous media outlets, the Red Devils boss is planning a swoop for Real Madrid's Angel Di Maria, while a player-plus-cash deal is being lined up to bring Ilkay Gundogan and Marco Reus to Old Trafford.
The Daily Star's Jack Wilson writes that an increase in playing time for the improving Gareth Bale will raise serious reservations for Di Maria about his first-team opportunities under Carlo Ancelotti:
Di Maria has played 16 times for Real this season but he fears Gareth Bale's recovery could leave him watching from the sidelines.
It's left Di Maria - who has been on the United radar for a while - pondering his future during a season that ends with a World Cup in Brazil.
The wide areas have been an issue for United this season as the likes of Ashley Young, Antonio Valencia, Nani and Wilfried Zaha have all struggled to get into the full swing of things, the latter yet to play even a Premier League minute this term.
Out of the three, who is the most essential buy for United this winter?
Reus and Gundogan are no strangers to the Old Trafford rumour mill either and are reported by David Kent of the Daily Mail Online as being the targets in a deal that could see Shinji Kagawa head in the opposite direction.
As Kent mentions, it was recently revealed that Reus has a release clause in his Borussia Dortmund contract—thought to be valued at £29.4 million—meaning talk of his Signal Iduna Park exit cannot yet be ruled out:
The 24-year-old has a £29.4million release clause which Moyes hopes to offset with the inclusion of Kagawa who has struggled to make an impact at Old Trafford since his move from Dortmund 18 months ago.
Reus' Dortmund team-mate Gundogan could also be included in the deal. The playmaker joined the German giants two years ago but has made only three appearances this term.
For Gundogan, news of United's interest arrives closely after the midfielder's father was forced to comment on his current situation at Dortmund amid rumours of a pre-contract agreement with Real Madrid, per Thomas Zocher of Sky Sports.
It seems a mighty tall order for Moyes to successfully chase a trio of such well-regarded talent, especially considering Reus and Gundogan are still very much in the first-team plans of Jurgen Klopp.
One person who believes Reus is out of reach for the English giants is Jan Aage Fjortoft:
My advice to Manchester United: Forget Marco Reus! He won't come. He will extend his contract or end up at Bayern with his mate Götze— Jan Aage Fjortoft (@JanAageFjortoft) November 12, 2013
The news of Kagawa's supposed availability will be particularly disappointing to some United fans, with the Japanese playmaker falling victim to the tactics and circumstance around him rather than actually not being good enough to feature.
Wayne Rooney's sparkling form behind Robin van Persie has left Kagawa to settle for a wide role, which restricts his impact on the game.
In any case, it seems as though midfield and attack is where the club will be concentrating their recruitment efforts this winter, making for another fine buildup to what should be an interesting January for Moyes' Manchester United.