Manchester United's rough season got even worse on January 5 after being stunned by Swansea, losing 2-1 in the third round of The FA Cup. With the winter transfer window now open, it appears to be quite clear that the Red Devils need to try and make a splash.
A 2-1 loss to Swansea certainly hurts, especially after it looked like the Red Devils were beginning to turn things around. Before the shocking defeat, they had won six straight matches, but this was not the start to 2014 that they were hoping for.
It appears clear now that there is a sense of urgency surrounding United. There is some real talent on the team, but they need a spark. According to John Edwards from the Daily Mail, United manager David Moyes clearly wants to add some star players but notes that it will be difficult saying when:
There is an urgency that we want to sign players but are the ones we want available in January?
I have said before that I will try to bring players in this month. But it is doubtful because of the way the window works. There is no point me hyping it up, because the ones we want are probably not going to be available. It is that, rather than us not wanting to do it.
As Moyes noted, it's going to be very hard for United to make much of a splash over the next few weeks, despite their desire to. Few big moves are usually made during the mid-season window, with most of them being reserved for earlier in the year.
But that won't keep United from trying, as they should. Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie are great players, but there are some obvious weaknesses that the team needs to quickly address.
The good news for Moyes is that it looks like the team is going to bring the funds for them to make a big signing at some point. Bryan Swanson from SkySports.com, had this to say about the team supporting Moyes:
The club is targeting a left-back and central midfielder and senior figures at the club have told Sky Sports News that Moyes will receive all the financial support he needs to make any moves.
But Manchester United officials, who have given Moyes their full support and have no plans to appoint a director of football to support transfer activity, will not rush into any panic buys and stress that the availability of top players remains the biggest obstacle.
The Red Devils have seriously needed some support in the middle of the field, which has been a clear weakness this season.
With the need there, United are clearly looking for help. One player who has been mentioned multiple times has been Miralem Pjanic, an attacking midfielder who's made a name for himself with Roma.
Would Miralem Pjanic be a good fit for Manchester United?
But it looks like Roma isn't going to give up Pjanic easily. According to Nadia Carminati from SkySports.com, Roma claims they have turned down multiple offers for the star midfielder, with teams like Paris Saint-Germain, Tottenham and United expressing interest.
At 23 years old, Pjanic is an aggressive player who is a strong passer and shooter. He's had five goals and five assists in 25 games across all levels of play, and he could be the spark United is looking for.
Unfortunately for the Red Devils, it's going to be very hard for them to sign Pjanic, or any star players for that matter. They appear to be willing to pay out some big money for a star player, but they may have to wait until the summer with how things are looking right now.