The January transfer window will open this week, and not surprisingly, Manchester United are being linked with a handful of high-profile players from many of Europe’s biggest leagues.
The Red Devils are still recovering from a disappointing start to the campaign that could still threaten their qualification for the Champions League at season’s end, but a recent upturn in results has them knocking at the door of the top four as they enter the new year.
With that in mind, manager David Moyes clearly feels a handful of meaningful additions could even inspire a renewed title challenge. Over the next few slides, we’ll examine who those players could be and where the gossip is coming from.
This space will be updated frequently over the coming week, so be sure to check back regularly to keep up to speed with the Manchester United rumour mill.
- Last updated 02 January -
Ilkay Gundogan will be one of the primary transfer targets for many of Europe’s biggest clubs, both in January and next summer.
However, on Monday, the chairman of his current club downplayed reports of the Germany international’s impending exit.
Borussia Dortmund supremo Hans-Joachim Watzke told Bild he would “have to worry” about being able to put a team together if he believed everything reported in the press, according to Ben Burrows of Mirror Football.
Gundogan’s affairs are managed by his father, and Watzke also added he has yet to hear any rumblings from the pair regarding a possible exit.
Gundogan, 23, is a deep-lying, playmaking midfielder with a German league and cup double already under his belt.
At or near the top of Manchester United’s January wishlist would seem to be Everton and England midfielder Ross Barkley.
As reported by James Robson of the Manchester Evening News, United boss David Moyes is mulling a move for the in-demand 20-year-old, even though Toffees manager Roberto Martinez has insisted the player isn’t even available for £86 million—the amount Real Madrid paid for Gareth Bale in September.
In any case, Moyes is of the mind a £50 million offer would turn his former club’s head. Given Barkley’s breakout season this term, his arrival would no doubt be seen as the signal of intent from Moyes that United fans are presently craving.
Manchester United failed in a much-publicized effort to acquire Leighton Baines from Everton during the summer, but with the January transfer window set to open the reigning Premier League champions appear ready to make a fresh approach for the England left-back.
The Mirror’s David McDonnell has reported Red Devils manager David Moyes is prepared to offer £16 million for Baines, with whom he worked during his time at Goodison Park.
Current United left-back Patrice Evra, 32, has started all of United’s Premier League matches so far this season but will be out of contract in the summer.
West Ham starlet Ravel Morrison could be poised to return to Manchester United, according to Danny Griffiths of the Metro.
Morrison, who came through the ranks at Old Trafford before being sold to the London outfit in 2012, will be out of contract in 18 months and the terms of his current deal state he could be allowed to leave the club in the event a one-time payment of £10 million was received for his services.
The 20-year-old has scored five goals in all competitions for the Hammers this season and has emerged both as a fan favourite at Upton Park and potential England midfielder ahead of the 2014 World Cup.
Manchester United could be poised to make an audacious, big-money approach for Arturo Vidal.
As reported by Le 10 Sport, and relayed by Ben Burrows of the Mirror, United boss David Moyes may attempt to pry the midfielder from Juventus with the prospect of a massive pay hike, despite the fact that the Chile international agreed a new deal with the Turin giants just last month.
Vidal, 26, is a bullish, hard-tackling midfielder adept in both defense and attack and has been a part of two Scudetto-winning seasons at Juventus following a 2011 move from Bayer Leverkusen.
According to Bob Cass of the Daily Mail, the England international will meet with Manchester United representatives in the coming weeks for preliminary discussions regarding a fresh pact, but should talks go sour it’s likely the Blues could come in for 28-year-old in the summer.
Recent results will have done little to convince Rooney there is much of a future at the reigning Premier League champions, at least in the short term, although manager David Moyes has remained adamant he won’t be selling Rooney.