Now in the midseason transfer window, David Moyes has the opportunity to bolster his squad (with the luxury of a £150 million transfer budget, as per the Lancashire Evening Post) and try to make a push to defend the Red Devils’ Premier League title.
In need of a boost in any way, United will look to use the transfer period as a way to hit the reset button on their disappointing season.
Here are three potential acquisitions for United before the end of the month.
Arguably the weakest area of United’s team is the midfield, making a potential Juan Mata acquisition particularly appealing, as reported by Gulf News.
Mata, a two-time Player of the Year winner at Chelsea, has only made 13 appearances for the Blues this year under Jose Mourinho and a move to United would be a huge asset for the Red Devils, who are preparing a £37 million bid to land the midfielder, as per The Mirror.
A controlled midfield player, Mata could help rejuvenate a team struggling to maintain offensive aggression and defensive strength. Since the start of the year, United have allowed nine goals in five games, while only scoring six goals themselves.
Since August 2011, Juan Mata has 27 Premier League assists, second only to David Silva and four more than Wayne Rooney.— 8 Fact Football (@8Fact_Footballl) January 21, 2014
A crafty goalscorer, Cavani has been confined largely to a supporting role behind Zlatan Ibrahimovic in Paris, but would make a strong impact on the United squad looking for front line aggression as a way to lift them out of their offensive slump.
A box-to-box midfielder, Gundogan has strong footwork that would help tighten up the Red Devils' passing game and a dominant physical presence on the field that would make him a formidable foe for the rest of the Premier League.
The 23-year-old would help to solve United’s midfield problem (in the same way that Mata could), but Gundogan is a somewhat high-risk acquisition. After suffering a back injury in August, Gundogan has not played since, and the timetable for his return is less than certain.
However, there is a strong argument to be made for the midfielder. Gundogan completed 87 percent of his passes in the 2012-13 season, and on a team that relies on lower-percentage passing patterns, that number is particularly impressive.
Gundogan is also a strong defensive asset, winning 80 percent of his tackles last season and wining 58/90 take-ons as per Pro Soccer Talk.