The season has certainly not gone to plan for Manchester United, as David Moyes’ first season as manager has so far been nothing short of disastrous. Still, hope is not all lost for the Red Devils. The signing of Juan Mata has the potential to be a big shot in the arm for the Old Trafford team in their pursuit of a top-four slot, but United will surely be looking to add a couple of other players. We run the rule over a couple of players linked to be making a big move to Manchester before the end of the transfer window.
Which player will Manchester United sign in January?
According to the Independent, Marco Reus is on Moyes’ shopping list, and if he can't get him in January, he will bid in the summer. The Dortmund star is one of the hottest talents in Europe, and he could link up devastatingly with Mata. The only question is whether the German international will take the risk of moving to a club that may very well not be in Europe next season.
United have already had a bid knocked back for Southampton left-back Luke Shaw, one of the most promising young English players around. Patrice Evra is seemingly on a terminal decline, so going for Shaw is a smart move for Moyes, who looks to have given up on nabbing Leighton Baines. Look for United to test the Saints’ patience again, if not in January, then perhaps in the summer window.
Reports from Italy say Moyes watched Paul Pogba and Arturo Vidal last week and is ready to put in a huge money move to steal the both of them in a double swoop from Juve. Vidal is one of the best midfielders in Europe, and former United youth player Pogba is on his way there. The only question is, once again, whether two such standout talents can be enticed in moving from the Italian champions to a club where they will have to fight tooth and nail merely to secure a UCL berth.
In a surprise move, bookmakers have slashed the odds on United bidding for Adam Lallana. They say Moyes is keen on pairing the young Englishman with Januzaj. Lallana is part of Southampton’s fine core of English talent (along with the aforementioned Shaw), and his recent England caps have only boosted his value. Lallana lacks the pedigree of some of United’s other targets, but he could be well worth the risk at a reasonable price.
Lastly, Ilkay Gündogan has put Manchester United in a position to bid for him as he the Daily Mail last week that he doesn't know what his future holds with 18 months left on his contract. A top-class young player, Gündogan could restore much needed stability and class to United’s brittle midfield. Should he become available, however, it is likely that United will be pitted in a bidding war alongside the other European giants undoubtedly keeping tabs on the German.
Though it is unlikely that more than one or two of these moves will come off, it does seem that some lessons have been learned since the debacle of United’s 2013 summer window. Given the hole United are in, it will likely take another injection of top talent to make the team feared in the league once more and perhaps to keep Moyes in his job.