Manchester United Transfer News and Rumours Tracker: Week of December 23
Manchester United’s only major acquisition of a disappointing summer was Belgium international Marouane Fellaini, and now that the midfielder faces upwards of two months on the sidelines after undergoing wrist surgery, it’s likely David Moyes will be forced into the January transfer market—if he wasn’t making plans to do so already.
While United’s play has picked up in recent matches, it’s still widely thought they could use a significant makeover in the centre of the park. To that end, it’s no surprise many of the players Moyes is being linked with prefer to operate behind the attack.
It’s also worth noting that in January 2006, when United had persevered through a similarly substandard start to the season, former manager Sir Alex Ferguson went out and bought Patrice Evra and Nemanja Vidic—players who would become mainstays of five Premier League titles and a Champions League crown.
Moyes’ legacy at Old Trafford, at least in the short term, could well be determined by whether he can act with similar decisiveness in the midseason transfer market.
The following slides will reveal a handful of players United are being linked to ahead of next month. This space will be updated throughout the week, so be sure to check back frequently for the latest scuttlebutt.
Last updated: December 29
Brasileiro MVP Linked to United
Everton Ribeiro was the centrepiece of Cruzeiro’s title-winning season in 2013, and with the January transfer window opening shortly, he seems to be angling for a move to Manchester United.
According to Adam Crafton of the Daily Mail, Ribeiro has been quoted by ESPN Brasil as saying it “would be great” to play alongside the likes of Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie, and his agent has also confirmed the Red Devils have been in contact regarding his client.
The 24-year-old can operate across the attacking third in support of the strikers but prefers to play from the flanks. He is also serviceable as a left-back.
United Reportedly Interested in Xabi Alonso
One player who could add muscle and organization to any midfield in world football is Real Madrid’s Xabi Alonso, and with the Spain international out of contract at season’s end, there’s a chance he could be headed to Old Trafford in January.
According to Jack Wilson of the Daily Star, Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has said he has “other important players” to rely on should Xabi Alonso opt for the exit—words that will surely do little to encourage the 32-year-old to agree a new pact in the Spanish capital.
Xabi Alonso played five seasons at Liverpool before moving to Real Madrid in 2009. He has an FA Cup, European Cup, Copa del Rey, Primera Division crown, World Cup and a pair of European Championships on his CV.
Sneijder Dismisses United Talk
The 29-year-old, presently with Turkish giants Galatasaray, also told Beyaz TV (via the Manchester Evening News) that “there are rumours about me in every transfer window” and that he looked forward to the end of the registration period “so people stop talking about me.”
The Netherlands international has scored five goals in 12 matches for Galatasaray so far this season.
Moyes May Move for Radamel Falcao or Diego Costa
With Robin van Persie presently on the shelf, Manchester United manager David Moyes may look to add a striker during the upcoming January transfer period.
Nick Lustig of the Express has reported Moyes is considering moves for one of Radamel Falcao or Diego Costa, although the Scot has also been quoted as saying United are not “in desperate need of an out-and-out centre-forward.”
Still, he added, “We will look [at all targets].”
United Pondering Lallana Swoop
Adam Lallana has emerged as a top transfer target for Manchester United manager David Moyes.
This, according to Adrian Kajumba of the Daily Star.
Lallana, 25, put pen to paper on a new, long-term contract at Southampton back in April, but with the England international having enjoyed an exceptional season to date the move may have been more an insurance policy for Saints than anything else.
Lallana has scored four goals in 18 matches in all competitions so far this term and could be made available for around £15 million.
Koke Is Top United Transfer Target
Manchester United have supposedly made Atletico Madrid midfielder Koke their top transfer target for the January registration period.
According to Jamie Sanderson of the Metro, United manager David Moyes will act quickly to land the 21-year-old, who has also caught the attention of reigning Primera Division champions Barcelona.
It’s thought a £25 million bid would be enough to pry Koke from the Spanish capital.
Comfortable in both holding and creative roles, the Spain international was part of his country’s U-21 squad that won that age category’s UEFA title in 2013.