Manchester United are reportedly preparing for a “January transfer splurge” to turn around their awful form. The board believes big spending during the winter window is the key to ensuring the club doesn't lose more ground in the Premier League title race.
The Daily Mirror's David McDonnell believes Everton's John Stones and Romelu Lukaku are on a list of potential targets for the Red Devils, but even if those moves prove impossible, manager Louis van Gaal will receive some new players to work with:
Van Gaal admitted there is “no magic” way to improve United’s fortunes, but there is an acceptance at boardroom level that they need to spend in the winter window if they want to ensure they emerge from their current crisis.
Mirror Sport has learned United intend to pursue several targets in January after recognising their squad needs strengthening with the team currently on an eight-game winless streak, their worst run since 1989-90.
To say the month of December has been a disappointment for United would be an understatement. As shared by Paddy Power, the club did even worse than last-placed Aston Villa in the Premier League:
Aston Villa have gained more Premier League points in December (3) than Manchester United (2). pic.twitter.com/57A1bhvzlO— Paddy Power (@paddypower) December 29, 2015
The Red Devils didn't win a single match, were knocked out of the Champions League and dropped to sixth place in the Premier League standings in the span of a single month.
The poor results have increased the pressure on Van Gaal, but for now, it seems like the Dutchman isn't going anywhere.
Is more spending the answer for United?
More spending has been the answer to most of United's questions in the last couple of seasons, and the results have been mixed, to put it mildly.
Van Gaal has thrown plenty of money at players like Angel Di Maria, Ander Herrera and Memphis Depay in the last 18 months, and they haven't lived up to their lofty transfer fees―Di Maria isn't even with the club anymore.
But there's no denying the squad needs strengthening. United's attack in particular is in dire need of an upgrade, as the team scored just 22 goals in the first half of the 2015-16 Premier League campaign, per WhoScored.com.
Captain Wayne Rooney has been struggling for form all season long, and summer signing Anthony Martial looks like a future star but can't consistently impact matches right now. Football blogger Liam thinks Lukaku would be the perfect answer:
If I was Ed Woodward, I'd be doing everything in my power to be signing John Stones and Lukaku.— Liam (@OffsideLiam) December 28, 2015
The young Belgian is unlikely to leave Everton in January, but that doesn't mean United shouldn't at least try to bring the forward to Old Trafford.
The Toffees will likely hold out for a massive transfer fee, but if United are planning a splurge, Goodison Park would be a good place to start.