Manchester United Transfer Rumours: Breaking Down January Midfield Targets

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistDecember 13, 2013

MADRID, SPAIN - OCTOBER 27: Koke of Atletico de Madrid runs for the ball during the La Liga match between Club Atletico de Madrid and Real Betis Balompieat at Vicente Calderon Stadium on October 27, 2013 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

After falling to ninth in the English Premier League table, it is clear Manchester United need help in the form of a winter transfer. 

Since beating Arsenal, the club is winless in their last four matches, including consecutive 1-0 home losses to Everton and Newcastle. The biggest problem has come in the midfield, which has struggled to consistently produce scoring chances.

If United want to get back near the top of the table and possibly contend in the UEFA Champions League, they will need to find an upgrade to help the attack.

Fortunately, the club has been looking at a few options in recent days that could hopefully provide the improvement necessary. Here are the latest rumours concerning possible Manchester United targets.

Wesley Sneijder, Galatasaray

ISTANBUL, TURKEY- SEPTEMBER 17: Galatasaray's Wesley Sneijder rides the ball during UEFA Champions League Group B match agaist Real Madrid at the Ali Sami Yen Area on September 17, 2013 in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo by Burak Kara/Getty Images)
Burak Kara/Getty Images

If Manchester United want an experienced player who can still get it done on the pitch, there might not be a better option than Wesley Sneijder.

The Galatasaray star scored the game-winning goal against Juventus to send the Turkish club into the knockout phase of the Champions League. Of course, he has had plenty of success throughout his career with Inter, Real Madrid and other top clubs. 

Therefore, it is not surprising that the English club have an interest in the veteran, according to Jamie Jackson of The Guardian:

Manchester United have reactivated their interest in Wesley Sneijder, with David Moyes considering a January move for the Galatasaray playmaker.

Sneijder came close to signing for United two seasons ago before the deal fell through because of contractual issues and the Dutchman, who reportedly has a release clause of around £13m, would represent a bargain.

According to ESPN, Sneijder denied knowing anything about a potential transfer. However, he did not say he would be opposed to such a move.

While the 29-year-old player has never been much of a scorer, his ability to make key passes in the offensive zone would be a huge addition to David Moyes' club.

Fredy Guarin, Inter Milan

MILAN, ITALY - OCTOBER 26:  Fredy Guarin of FC Inter Milan celebrates during the Serie A match between FC Internazionale Milano and Hellas Verona at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on October 26, 2013 in Milan, Italy.  (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
Claudio Villa/Getty Images

There might not be a better option available in the January transfer window than Fredy Guarin from Inter. Fortunately, Clive Burrows of The Independent reported that Manchester United are looking to make an offer:

Manchester United manager David Moyes has reportedly sent out representatives to watch Internazionale's Fredy Guarin ahead of making a January offer for the midfielder.

The 27-year-old has been identified as the player needed to bolster Moyes' struggling midfield, in which he has largely played 40-year-old Ryan Giggs and centre-back Phil Jones in the middle of this season.

It has been reported that Inter could be open to an offer of £15m for the midfielder.

Guarin has been one of the more productive players for Inter so far this season, scoring three goals with three assists in 15 league starts. His ability to create looks for others is one of the reasons the squad has the highest-scoring offence in Serie A.

However, he could be available based on the fact his club is looking to add Ezequiel Lavezzi from Paris Saint-Germain, according to Tancredi Palmeri of beIN Sport:

United will obviously have a lot of competition for Guarin's services, including from Chelsea. However, the opportunity to get first-team starts should give the defending EPL champs an edge in this battle.

Koke, Atletico Madrid

MADRID, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 18:  Jorge Resurreccion Merodio 'Koke' of Club Atletico de Madrid in action during the UEFA Champions League Group G match between Club Atletico de Madrid and FC Zenit at Vicente Calderon Stadium on September 18, 2013 in Madrid,
Denis Doyle/Getty Images

If the club is looking for more of a long-term answer then it would be smart to pursue 21-year-old Atletico Madrid star Koke.

Alex Richards of the Daily Mirror reports that the club will battle for the young player's services:

Manchester United and Liverpool will need to battle it out with Spanish champions Barcelona if they are to sign Atletico Madrid starlet Koke, reports suggest.

Comfortable in a central position or on either flank, the player recently signed a new deal at the Vicente Calderon, which includes a £17 million release clause.

While this addition would be a big move for the future, Koke certainly has the ability to contribute right away. He has been a key player for Atletico Madrid this season, totalling three goals and a team-leading eight assists in 15 league appearances.

His offensive skill is part of the reason the club is surprisingly even with Barcelona and ahead of Real Madrid in the La Liga table. 

With a relatively inexpensive release clause, Manchester United should be very aggressive in attempting to bring Koke to Old Trafford. If they are successful, he could help transform the attack in a positive way for years to come.

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