The best and worst case scenarios for Manchester United in January transfer window – Liam Corless

The best and worst case scenarios for Manchester United in January transfer window – Liam Corless





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Manchester United return to Premier League action away to Sheffield United this weekend and it is one of eight top-flight games the Reds must navigate before the January transfer window opens at midnight on New Year’s Day.

United’s form has improved markedly of late, with the team moving up to seventh in the table after beating Brighton prior to the international break.

But that’s not to say their problems have all been resolved, and activity in January is still very much expected.

Here, we’ve taken a look at the best and worst-case scenarios that could play out during the winter window.

Best-case scenario

Even the best-case scenario would not please the most optimistic United fan.

In a recent poll run by MEN Sport nearly a quarter of respondents said United need to sign four or more players in January.

That will not happen.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hinted United could bring two players in and that is far more realistic.

United need another central midfielder and a back-up striker for Anthony Martial, with Solskjaer understood to now be prioritising the latter having noted how much the team struggled when the Frenchman was injured earlier in the season.

MEN Sport understands Mario Mandzukic is not currently a target, but the RB Salzburg forward Erling Haaland has been linked, as has Lyon’s Moussa Dembele.

United would likely have to pay an inflated sum to sign Haaland given his incredible start to the campaign and one imagines he would not settle for a back-up role at Old Trafford.

There is less hype surrounding Dembele, though, and United would probably have less competition were they to vie for his signature next month.

Moussa Dembele of Lyon

James Maddison is United’s No.1 midfield target and, although it is unlikely that Leicester would be willing to sell him next month, it is not absolutely beyond the realms of possibility.

Maddison, who would cost United a huge fee, would be a sizeable upgrade on Andreas Pereira in an advanced midfield position.

Much could depend on where Leicester find themselves in the table going into January. If their form has dropped off a little, United could swoop.

In terms of outgoings, Nemanja Matic’s exit would free up funds on the wage bill.

The Serbia international is open to leaving the club after falling out of favour under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Tahith Chong, Angel Gomes and Timothy Fosu-Mensah should all leave on loan.

 

Worst-case scenario

You probably guessed it but this scenario would involve United signing nobody.

Despite United’s recent mini-revival, reinforcements are required to improve the strength in depth of Solskjaer’s squad.

Recruiting poorly is also, obviously, something United will want to avoid and that is perhaps why they are not pursuing Mandzukic despite their struggles for goals earlier in the season.

The Croat’s arrival would likely see Mason Greenwood’s game time restricted and that is not something any United fan wants.

Chong and Gomes would be best served with loan moves away but United will want to avoid losing them permanently in January.

Angel Gomes of Manchester United

Both players are out of contract at the end of the campaign and have been out of the first-team picture of late. Juventus have been linked with Chong and a move to Barcelona for Gomes has been mooted.

Although they have not exactly pulled up trees in the first team this season, Solskjaer will be loath to see them leave for good and watch either of them establish themselves elsewhere.

Fosu-Mensah’s contract is also up but United do have the option to trigger a one-year extension to keep him at the club until 2021.