Manchester United manager David Moyes remains keen to strengthen the club's midfield and sign a new left-back.
As reported by Ian Ladyman in the Daily Mail, Moyes said:
If you asked me what I needed most, I would have said a central midfielder and a left-back. But sometimes you don't always get the pieces of the jigsaw at the time.
The United boss seems to be hinting he would have liked to have strengthened those positions during the January transfer window, but had to capitalise on the chance to sign Juan Mata regardless of the fact other positions are in greater need of bolstering.
It now appears increasingly likely he will have to reassess his targets ahead of the summer and guide the Red Devils into the Champions League places with serious deficiencies in the squad.
The role of left-back is one which requires long-term attention, but with Patrice Evra in place, United can get by for now.
Per Chris Wheeler in the Daily Mail, Evra is expected to depart Old Trafford in the summer along with several other senior defenders.
Although that would leave United short of experience at the back, it is probably the right time for some players—such as the ageing Rio Ferdinand—to move on.
However, the club should arguably battle to keep Nemanja Vidic and Evra—for another campaign, at least.
At 32 years old, Evra's best days are behind him. However, the most sensible option would be to bring in a young player who can take the mantle from the France international, rather than someone ready-made.
Central midfield is a position that requires more immediate attention.
As reported by Thomas Zocher at Sky Sports, Bayern Munich's Toni Kroos has been linked.
The 24-year-old could likely come straight into the team and perform. However, German football expert Raphael Honigstein believes the player won't move this month:
Kroos: nothing will be decided before February or March at the earliest, I believe.— Raphael Honigstein (@honigstein) January 29, 2014
Tom Cleverley, who hasn't started in the league since the defeat to Tottenham three weeks ago, is out of favour under Moyes. Meanwhile, Darren Fletcher cannot be relied upon, and Michael Carrick is not a long-term option. The same can be said of 40-year-old Ryan Giggs, who started in midfield against Cardiff.
The signing of Mata for £37.1 million will paper over the cracks, but it should just be the first step in a significant overhaul of the playing squad by Moyes.