Manchester United Transfer Rumours: Fabio Coentrao Would Solve Major Problem

Rob BlanchetteFeatured ColumnistJanuary 6, 2014

MADRID, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 13:  Fabio Coentrao of Real Madrid is shadowed by Wayne Rooney of Manchester United during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first leg match between Real Madrid and Manchester United at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on February 13, 2013 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

As the dust settles on a fifth home defeat for David Moyes and Manchester United, attentions turn back to the club's pursuit of January transfer targets.

After a summer of discontent, United have been alerted to the availability of Real Madrid's Fabio Coentrao, as reported by Simon Mullock of The Mirror.

Coentrao has only featured a couple of times for Carlo Ancelotti's team this season and has been told he can leave the Spanish giants ahead of this summer's World Cup finals in Brazil, per Mullock's article. 

The Mirror also reports that the Portugal left-back will be made available at around the £12 million mark. 

Coentrao was a deadline-day loan target in the previous window for Moyes, only for the deal to collapse at the eleventh hour, due to a paperwork issue. 

Ancelotti said at the time, per Sky Sports: "Fabio is staying. I understood that he wanted to go, but really it was not the same desire for everyone. Now he's decided to stay and everybody, the club, players and coaching staff, are happy with this decision."

MADRID, SPAIN - OCTOBER 01:  Real Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti holds a joint press conference with Real player Sergio Ramos ahead of the Real Madrid v FC Kebenhavn Champions League Group B match at Valdebebas training ground on October 1, 2013 in Mad
Denis Doyle/Getty Images

The 25-year-old defender would add much-needed quality to Moyes' failing squad. His versatility would also be an asset to United with his ability to play on the left wing and as a defensive midfielder.

For a player that cost Madrid €30 million in 2011 from Benfica, the transfer would represent real value to United, as the rebuilding process after the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson begins in earnest. 

With Patrice Evra's contract about to expire, and the lack of quality from squad alternatives like Alexander Buttner and Fabio, the left-back position is a priority for Moyes.

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 15:  Leighton Baines of England in action during the international friendly match between England and Chile at Wembley Stadium on November 15, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

His continued interest in Leighton Baines could finally be about to end after Everton's refusal to sell the England international, reports Jamie Jackson of The Guardian.

Coentrao is the type of player Moyes truly needs. He is an individual who knows what it is like to play at the highest level of club football, with more international caps than his positional counterpart Baines. 

Evra's attacking play has always been core to United's game in successful campaigns over the years, and Moyes must find a replacement that can give him the required assist rate from full-back. 

Coentrao ticks all of the boxes. 

Moyes will be desperate to freshen up his options, as United lie 11 points behind Premier League leaders Arsenal