Manchester United Transfers: 5 Players to Sign, 5 Players to Sell in 2014

Sam Tighe@@stighefootballWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterJanuary 8, 2014

Manchester United Transfers: 5 Players to Sign, 5 Players to Sell in 2014

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    According to Chris Wheeler of The Daily Mail, David Moyes has been promised £200 million to invest in players to strengthen his squad.

    The report suggests the club's hierarchy have realised how little star quality the squad boasts without Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie, paving the way for the Scot to revamp an aging roster.

    Here, we look at five players Moyes should jettison and five he should sign throughout the 2014 calendar year.


    Please note: while Everton Ribeiro would be a wonderful signing, there's just no way he's getting a work permit before January 2015, so he's not included. Ryan Giggs' impending retirement is considered a forgone conclusion.

Sign: Luke Shaw, Left-Back

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    The left-back conundrum is a tough one for David Moyes to solve.

    Fabio refuses to impress when given the chance (albeit those are few and far between), while Patrice Evra blows hot and cold in a contract year.

    Ideally, Moyes signs Evra to a new one- or two-year deal to see out the 2014-15 season at a minimum and signs Luke Shaw this summer to provide long-term stability.

    Shaw has had consistent fitness issues early on in his career and cannot be relied upon to play 38 games. It's only a temporary red flag, as it's likely these problems will subside as he finishes growing, but for now a Shaw-Evra tandem could tick a lot of boxes.

    When to sign: Summer of 2014

Sell: Rio Ferdinand, Centre-Back

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    "Sell" is a questionable term given the fact that Rio Ferdinand's contract is up at the end of the 2013-14 season, but Manchester United do need to wipe the slate and move on.

    He's been incredible for the club, no question, but his performances are dipping and at 35, those niggles are becoming more and more difficult to recover from.

    All in all, it's making for a chop-and-change defensive setup that is leaking too many goals due to a lack of consistency and elite talent.

    When to sell: Summer of 2014 (contract expiry), move into coaching capacity if possible.

Sign: Ilkay Gundogan, Central Midfielder

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    Right now, Manchester United have no central midfielders capable of striking fear into opponents' hearts.

    In fact, the centre is the area teams target to exploit and beat the Red Devils in, with the likes of Tom Cleverley and Marouane Fellaini failing to take command of most games.

    Ilkay Gundogan would be a massive risk should he sign in January, but that's the sort of situation David Moyes finds himself in: a position where he has to take a leap of faith.

    The German midfielder is one of the finest creators in football and is not Champions League cup-tied, but who knows what state he's in after recovering from an extensive, complicated spinal injury?

    Roll the dice. 

    When to sign: January 2014

Sell: Anderson, Central Midfielder

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    Every year, it's going to be "Anderson's year;" the season in which the Brazilian grabs the bull by the horns and makes himself indispensable in Manchester United's midfield.

    Unfortunately, it's difficult to remember more than 10 good performances from the former FC Porto star despite joining the club seven years ago, and he should be sold whenever and wherever possible.

    There would be plenty of Premier League clubs ready to take a punt on some wasted talent, while there will also be plenty of suitors in Portugal and Brazil.

    It's time for the two parties to cut ties.

    When to sell: January 2014

(Re)sign: Nemanja Vidic, Centre-Back

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    Manchester United will be able to cope with losing one stalwart in defence in the form of Rio Ferdinand this summer, but two? No club can be doing with such seismic change.

    The Guardian have suggested tensions between management and player agent are tight, but the Red Devils must do what it takes to bring back the Serbian monster for another year at least.

    Phil Jones is one of the few success stories this season, but is he ready to assume full control of a title-challenging defence alongside Jonny Evans/one new recruit?

    When to sign: Before season's end, to a one- or two-year extension.

Sell: Nani, Winger

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    Picking between Ashley Young and Nani is tough, but this writer believes the former is very much a David Moyes-type player once he gets a run of games going.

    That leaves Portuguese prodigy Nani on the chopping block and rightly so; he's been underwhelming for years now and has made just six starts in all competitions this season so far.

    He's on a big contract that extends into 2018, but The Mirror reckon Juventus are keen to swoop in for a deal. Any figures around the £18 million mark are, however, extremely unrealistic given the Turin outfit's penchant for a bargain.

    When to sell: Summer 2014, by virtue of his "serious hamstring injury"

Sign: Ezequiel Garay, Benfica

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    Come on, just sign him already!

    The suspension created over the past several transfer windows, regarding Ezequiel Garay's move to Manchester United, is killing us.

    John Cross of The Mirror revealed that it was, perhaps, Sir Alex Ferguson's exit that halted a potential deal last summer, but David Moyes must now work toward rebuilding those bridges and revive a transaction.

    He's continued his great form and was, by anyone's standards, one of the top three footballers in the Liga Sagres in 2013. He's a starting centre-back for Argentina and ready for a big move.

    When to sign: January 2014

Sell: Alexander Buttner, Left-Back

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    It's become abundantly clear that Alexander Buttner is not the all-encompassing full-back prospect Manchester United wanted.

    Even the Red Devils' Dutch scout told Algemeen Dagblad, via, that the left-sider was just the "third- or fourth-best player in his position in the Eredivisie in 2012."

    That said, he was genuine attacking quality and his sublime crossing was on show against Swansea City in the FA Cup last weekend. There will be teams ready to pay for that in cash.

    When to sell: Summer of 2014

Sign: Davide Santon, Newcastle United

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    Davide Santon won't be viewed by fans as a sexy signing, but given the dearth of quality full-backs in the game today, this Italian brings invaluable versatility and experience despite being just 23 years of age.

    With Rafael consistently picking up injuries, Fabio's future in doubt, Patrice Evra under the microscope and Chris Smalling in no way a full-back, someone who can fill in on both sides would be a smart buy.

    Indeed, Santon is a natural right-footed right-back, but was moved to the left for Internazionale under Jose Mourinho and simply continued there for Newcastle United.

    He flies under the radar, perhaps because of the Magpies' shocking 2012-13 campaign, but he's a quality, quality player.

    When to sign: January 2014

Sell: Bebe, Winger

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    This one's obvious, but it would be a move more symbolic than anything else.

    Getting rid of Bebe, permanently, would signal a figurative changing of skin for Manchester United, shaking off yesterday's mistakes and looking forward with intrigue.

    Why the Portuguese winger was bought for £7.5 million we'll probably never know, but the fact remains he will go down as one of the biggest flops in world footballing history.

    When to sell: Summer of 2014