Paul Pogba was supposed to be Manchester United’s next big thing. Having joined the club when he was 16 years old and making his way up through the ranks, it only seemed a matter of time before he was bossing our midfield.
During the 2011-2012 season, when we were scraping the barrel for decent players in the centre of the park, Pogba must have thought that he would finally get his chance in the team. However, instead, Sir Alex Ferguson opted to bring Paul Scholes out of retirement.
Pogba left at the end of the season citing lack of playing time and United’s refusal to offer him the contract he believed he deserved as the reasons for joining Juventus. United lost out on a huge talent in a position that we’re in desperate need of filling.
To add insult to injury, Pogba won the title in his first season and was named Europe’s Golden Boy for 2013. It’s no surprise he’s been linked with a whole host of clubs in the January transfer window, but it would be hugely surprising if he returned to Manchester.
Juventus are currently top of Serie A with Pogba performing a key role for the club. If he wasn't prepared to stay and fight for his place when we were champions, what are the chances of him playing for United now that they are struggling to even make the top four? Dream on.
Marco Reus has a release clause that is worth less than £30 million, which should certainly turn Ed Woodward’s attention to the German. Having spent all of last summer trying to get the possible deal on a player, only to end up paying over the odds for Marouane Fellaini, the new chief exec will be keen to make amends in this transfer window.
The 24-year-old raised hopes of United fans this week when insisting he would not be following Robert Lewandowski and Mario Gotze to Bayern Munich. He claimed that “money is not everything”, per Danny McCann in the Mirror, which will be music to the ears of those at Old Trafford.
However, Borussia Dortmund’s sporting director, Michael Zorc, has claimed the player isn't going anywhere. If Reus was to leave the club that reached the Champions League final last season, would he really pick a team that is likely to be playing Europa League football next season?
With Patrice Evra not getting any younger, and his performances not getting any better, chances are Manchester United will be in the market for a new left-back sooner rather than later. Whilst Evra has a huge presence in the dressing room, his impact on the field is waning.
David Moyes made no secret of his desire to bring Leighton Baines with him from Everton in the summer but United offered nowhere near what was required to prise the player away from Goodison Park. Shaw is a much more affordable option and has age on his side, making him a prospect for several clubs this transfer window.
However, the Southampton defender is a Chelsea fan and with Ashley Cole also past his peak, Shaw won’t need any convincing to make the move to Stamford Bridge. The London outfit will also be able to offer a larger transfer fee and bigger wages, ensuring that United won’t be able to compete for this one.
After being Chelsea’s best player two years in a row, Juan Mata can’t get into Jose Mourinho’s starting XI, and is keen to leave Stamford Bridge in a bid to get more playing time ahead of the World Cup. With competition for places in the Spain squad so stiff, Mata cannot afford to be a bench warmer.
However, after United spurned Chelsea over Wayne Rooney, the chances of them doing business with the Manchester club are slim to none…unless they were prepared to let the England striker go in the other direction.
PSG are also reportedly keen on Mata and can blow United out of the water financially, so United fans may as well forget about this one.
The papers this week claimed that Manchester United’s chief scout was in Spain last weekend to watch Diego Costa in action. The 25-year-old has scored 23 goals in 23 appearances in all competitions this season.
The £31.5 million release clause definitely puts him within United’s price range but a striker surely cannot be their priority in this transfer window.