Manchester United's pursuit of Fabio Coentrao is set to continue, after it was revealed by talkSPORT that Real Madrid are looking to pursue Sevilla full-back Alberto Moreno. David Moyes would be wise to double his efforts and land a player who would be an exciting acquisition.
Moyes will need to get past Carlo Ancelotti, however. Despite Coentrao's absence from the Real side—and his sending off upon return—the Madrid manager has insisted he remains crucial to the team's plans.
ESPN reported Ancelotti's post-match press conference, where he defended his player:
It was an unlucky sending off. He played very well offensively and defensively. He is really focused and is important for us. He did not make mistakes after a long time without playing. We have to value how he played.
Coentrao would be a perfect fit for United as Moyes continues to search for a left-back. The Portuguese player nearly moved to Manchester in the summer, and the side has missed an attacking presence from defence.
Through Moyes' bids for both Coentrao and Leighton Baines, it's clear that he feels the same. Although it was reported in The Telegraph that Moyes would prefer to conduct his transfer business in the summer amid concerns over Coentrao's lack of playing time, he doesn't have that luxury.
Fabio Coentrao: good signing or not?
The United faithful demand results, and the addition of Coentrao would go some way toward supplying them. Having operated as both a left-back and left-winger, the 25-year-old brings versatility and an attack-minded defender who benefits the linkup play from midfield.
It's been well publicised that United are missing a creative midfielder, and should the deadline day pass with no arrivals of that nature, Coentrao would at least provide some spark going forward. He can't solve both defensive and midfield issues, but he'll definitely improve the side.
Coentrao's attacking skill may gain him a lot of plaudits, but he remains defensively strong. This is mostly due to wonderful balance that enables him to time his challenges perfectly. Of course, this doesn't include the horribly late affair that punctuated his return to the Real side.
Coentrao would be a good signing. People are confused if they think he's the player to "Turn it around" though! #MUFC— Cameron Laws (@Cameron_Laws) January 16, 2014
Although his lack of match fitness is a concern, Moyes should still make the move. United have put together a run of victories and look to be regaining some confidence.
Nevertheless, they still look eminently beatable and far from the imperious side that we have seen in the past.
Coentrao simply offers too much to ignore, especially for a side in need of a shot in the arm to reaffirm their top-four ambitions.