5 Players Manchester United Could Target in January

Rob Dawson@@RobDawsonMENManchester United CorrespondentDecember 16, 2013

5 Players Manchester United Could Target in January

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    David Moyes has endured a difficult start to his career as Manchester United manager.

    After 16 games, they're eighth in the Premier League table, 10 points behind leaders Arsenal and seven off the Champions League places.

    For some United fans, the January transfer window represents the last chance for Moyes to save their season.

    January is an important month for Moyes and executive vice chairman Ed Woodward after the disappointment of the summer. But it's often difficult to make significant signings halfway through the season.

    Here, in no particular order, is a list of five transfer targets United could realistically sign next month. 

Leighton Baines

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    Leighton Baines is the most likely arrival at United in January. 

    Everton did well to rebuff David Moyes' advances in the summer, but if the United manager comes back with a bid in the region of £20 million, as Pete Spencer of the Manchester Evening News suggests, Roberto Martinez would have to seriously consider it.

    Baines has been sidelined with a broken toe and Bryan Oviedo has done well in his place which might just convince Everton to cash in.

    Moyes, meanwhile, has seemed determined to replace Patrice Evra since the moment he took over from Sir Alex Ferguson in the summer.

Fabio Coentrao

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    After United missed out on Leighton Baines in the summer, David Moyes thought he'd landed Real Madrid left-back Fabio Coentrao on deadline day only to see the deal collapse at the last minute.

    Moyes is clearly interested, as per John Edwards of the Daily Mail Online, and he's desperate for a new left-back, but he might find the Portugal international isn't available anymore.

    He's been part of Carlo Ancelotti's plans at the Bernabeu this season, and there has even been talk of a contract extension, according to Duncan Castles of One World Sports.

    For United, Coentrao might be more appealing than Baines because he can also play farther forward, given the struggles of the wide men this season.

Luke Shaw

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    If David Moyes is determined to sign a left-back, Southampton's Luke Shaw would represent more of a long-term investment than 29-year-old Leighton Baines.

    At 18, Shaw is already an England Under-21 international and has been a regular during Southampton's impressive start to the season.

    Moyes has shown with Adnan Januzaj that he's willing to give young players a chance but with Shaw already used to the Premier League, it wouldn't be a huge risk.

    If Southampton cannot match Shaw's ambition, it's likely he'll leave at some stage to find Champions League football, and United will be in the queue.

Ross Barkley

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    Like Leighton Baines, Ross Barkley is another player David Moyes is well aware of.

    The 20-year-old has become first choice at Everton this season under Roberto Martinez and has earned a call-up into Roy Hodgson's England squad.

    A central midfielder who can play behind the striker or a little deeper, he would fill a desperate need for Moyes at United. But it's debatable whether having broken into the team at Goodison Park, he would be ready to leave in January.

    But, like Luke Shaw, Everton will have to match Barkley's ambition if they want to keep him.

Yohan Cabaye

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    Newcastle face another fight to keep Yohan Cabaye in January after the Frenchman had his head turned in the summer by Arsenal.

    Cabaye showed in Newcastle's 1-0 win at Old Trafford this month that he's capable of being the creative spark in midfield that United have been missing this season.

    The 27-year-old would likely cost between £12 million and £15 million, and if he states his intention to leave Newcastle in January, David Moyes will almost certainly be interested.