Although David Moyes' hands are largely tied during the January transfer window, it hasn't stopped the Manchester United rumour mill from going into overdrive.
With the Red Devils stuck in seventh, many supporters are looking for the club to add reinforcements this month. Given the difficulty of signing players during the winter window, it's unlikely that United will get much, if anything, done.
Of all the moves possible for Manchester United, these four look the most likely to happen.
Despite signing that five-year extension, Nani remains a fringe figure at Manchester United. Between his streaky form and niggling injuries, the Portuguese midfielder has made little impact on the club this year, playing in nine matches across the Premier and Champions Leagues and scoring one lone goal.
If Moyes wants to offload Nani this January, he may have little trouble finding a taker. Nani's old club would love to welcome him back, per Charles Perrin of The Express:
"I am surprised because officially we have made no approach," the club's president Bruno de Carvalho said.
"Nani is one of ours and he will always be well received here. If there is any chance of doing something then we would be happy."
The 27-year-old left Sporting in 2007 before moving to Old Trafford, so he may be receptive to a transfer back home. That could help to avoid the same problems that torpedoed Nani's move to Zenit St. Petersburg last season.
Given how frustrating Nani continues to be on the pitch, it wouldn't be a shock to see him move before the deadline comes.
One of the players who may help Manchester United's midfield woes is Claudio Marchisio. The 27-year-old has seen his role diminish at Juventus, so the Italian champions could be willing to sell him in January, despite their push for a third Serie A title in a row.
But Juve won't give up Marchisio without a fight, per Radio Rai in Italy (via Sky Sports' Simone Bargellini):
General director Giuseppe Marotta told Radio Rai: "There is no problem with Marchisio. Claudio is a player who grew up in the Juventus youth teams and he loves the shirt.
"During a busy season it is inevitable that every player will have their lows, but everything is normal."
As much as the Italian club may publicly state that the midfielder isn't going anywhere, Goal's Carlo Garganese is of the opinion that turning down a €20-plus million offer would be crazy:
Some Juve fans may still not like to accept it, but if club receives anywhere close to Monaco's €30m. Even 20 absolutely must sell Marchisio— Carlo Garganese (@carlogarganese) January 12, 2014
There's little question Marchisio would be a huge help to United should he arrive during the winter window. He's a solid passer, which means he could provide the link from defense up to Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie in the attack. And on the defensive end, he can put in a tackle and provide some cover.
Italian football journalist Paolo Bandini found it humorous that United would pursue the player that Paul Pogba replaced at Juventus, since United could've just had Pogba if they wouldn't have let him leave last summer:
Not sure Moyes is really there to see Marchisio, but there wd be a certain irony to #MUFC paying €25m+ to buy man who Pogba replaced...— Paolo Bandini (@Paolo_Bandini) January 12, 2014
It will be tough for the Red Devils to get a deal done before February rolls around, and rumours surrounding Marchisio will likely fly right up until the deadline.
Wilfried Zaha and Fabio
Wilfried Zaha has been one of the biggest disappointments of the season for Manchester United. He was a fantastic playmaker for Crystal Palace last year and one of the biggest reasons the Eagles won promotion.
Since officially moving to Old Trafford in the summer, the 21-year-old has made two substitute appearances for United, and that's it.
As a result of his sporadic first-team appearances at the club, Zaha has been linked with a loan move to Cardiff City, along with his teammate, Fabio, who spent last season on loan with Queens Park Rangers.
Bluebirds boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer didn't say that he was specifically pursuing the United youngsters, per Sky Sports' Pete O'Rourke:
"I can't say anything on them (Zaha and Fabio) because they are players from Manchester United and I can't comment on players from other teams," said Solskjaer. "I am looking at strengthening my squad, but I can't say names.
"It is not about the number. I will work with the players I have here but if the right one comes up then I will do business like I have with Magnus (Wolff Eikrem) and Mats (Moller Daehli)."
Since Solskjaer was less than vehement with his denial, it leads you to believe that Cardiff are at least attempting to bring in either or both of Zaha and Fabio.