Manchester United will look to strengthen their squad in January after a poor campaign so far, although a lot will depend on the timeline of Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s recruitment shake-up.
Ratcliffe purchased 25% of United for around £1.4billion in a move which would see the billionaire gain control of the club’s footballing operations.
The deal was formalised on Christmas Eve but it’s not clear how much Ratcliffe will have in place for the January window, with United believed to be searching for a centre back, a defensive midfielder, a number 8, a right winger and a striker.
While it is unlikely they will be able to target all their problem positions in one month, particularly with a focus also set to be on outgoings, FootballTransfers takes a look at five players who could move to Old Trafford in January.
Jean-Clair Todibo (Nice)
United have been inconsistent in defence this season despite only four teams conceding less goals than them in the league, with injuries ravishing their backline throughout the season.
Erik ten Hag had been desperate to sign a centre back in the summer but the club were unable to raise funds after Harry Maguire rejected a move to West Ham and, while the England international has regained his place in the team, injuries to Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez means defence is still a high priority for United.
Jean-Clair Todibo was at the top of United’s shortlist in the summer and the Nice defender is still well-liked at Old Trafford, with a move even more feasible if Ratcliffe comes in due to his ownership of the French side.
Kenneth Taylor (Ajax)
Taylor has been integral to Ajax since last season, when he grabbed eight goals and three assists from defensive midfield, and he would be willing to leave Ajax with the Dutch side sitting ninth in the Eredivisie.
Another summer arrival who has had a slow start to life at Old Trafford is Mason Mount, with the £60 million signing from Chelsea having yet to provide a goal or assist and missing a large part of the season through injury.
Mount was touted as the perfect number eight for Ten Hag’s team but his problems have left United lacking energy in midfield and in the market for an alternative, with Fluminense’s Andre having been scouted extensively in recent months.
Andre has long been linked with a move to the Premier League, having been a target for Liverpool in the summer, and Fluminense are resigned to losing their star midfielder in January after winning the Copa Libertadores, with a fee of £30 million likely to grab their attention.
Timo Werner (RB Leipzig)
While United may not be able to strengthen all their priority positions through permanent transfers, the loan market could represent an intriguing option, with Timo Werner reportedly allowed to leave Leipzig in the winter.
The ex-Chelsea star has made just two starts in the Bundesliga this season and would relish a return to the Premier League, while his versatility and work rate would offer United a cheap alternative to their current options even if his output can be questioned.
Serhou Guirassy (Stuttgart)
If there is one thing United have lacked this season, it’s goals, with no team in the top half of the Premier League scoring less than Ten Hag’s side so far this year and his forwards netting a combined total of three goals from open play.
A ready-made solution could be Serhou Guirassy, who is the second-highest scorer in Europe after netting a staggering 16 goals in 11 games for Stuttgart this season.
Although the 27-year-old may be away for the Africa Cup of Nations in January, his release clause of a rumoured £15m could make Guirassy a bargain option for United, although they will face competition from a host of major sides.