We’re now almost two-thirds into the January transfer window and it’s so far been hilariously uneventful when compared to all the multi-million negotiations relentlessly rumoured in the tabloids over the last few months.
But the winter window has never been the ideal time to buy new recruits, especially in the English top flight. Those of proven Premier League pedigree often come with inflated price tags and a further premium is usually added on top for the displeasure of losing a player halfway through the season.
When it comes to selling, however, some big bucks can be made in January if you find a club willing to spend. You hold all the cards around the negotiating table and will be seen as justified in insisting players have no say over their futures until the end of the season.
So with that in mind and their first team seemingly in need of a reshuffle anyway, here’s FIVE stars Manchester United could be tempted into selling before the transfer window slams shut…
Manchester United will be incredibly reluctant to part with David De Gea halfway through a campaign in which his talismanic performances have kept them alive in this season’s title race. Without him, they could well be languishing in mid table.
But Real Madrid’s impending transfer ban could well force them into action this month, launching a swoop for a goalkeeper who has been one of their priority transfer targets for the best part of the last two years.
Although Los Blancos are hoping an appeal will delay their FIFA-induced embargo until after the summer, there is no guarantee and the Spanish giants are desperate to land at least a couple of the stellar names on their radar this month if possible.
The Spain international certainly falls into that category and United may not have much choice in the matter – should rumours of a £30million release clause included in the contract De Gea signed last summer prove true.
Understudy Sergio Romero – also Argentina’s No.1 – is capable of doing a job between the sticks until the end of the season, whilst Stoke City’s Jack Butland and Leicester City’s Kasper Schmeichel have been mooted as potential replacements.
Admittedly, this one all depends on whether Marcos Rojo can recover from his shoulder injury in time to pass a medical with another club before the close of the January transfer window.
But the Argentina international seemed to be on his way out of Old Trafford during the summer, missing the pre-season tour of the USA, and hasn’t exactly shrouded himself in glory since – making a handful of appearances before ruling himself out for three months with a dislocated shoulder.
There is also a long-standing theory of Louis van Gaal not getting on too well with South American players and having never really exceeded the duties of a rotation option, I doubt the Dutchman would put up much of a fuss if another club came in for Rojo.
Then again, United are seriously light on defensive numbers at the minute, so they could decide to hold onto the 25-year-old until the end of the season.
Manchester United reportedly intend to send Nick Powell out on loan to Nottingham Forest this month. But with the move held up by yet another injury, the Red Devils might lose patience with the ever-crocked starlet and decide to sell him outright.
Indeed, the 21-year-old was regarded as the most exciting home-grown talent in the Football League when United poached him from Crewe Alexandra in summer 2012 but relentless spells on the sidelines have seriously impacted his development at Old Trafford.
He’s gone on to make just nine appearances across all competitions and only two under Louis van Gaal – rather bizarrely issued his first appearance by the Dutchman as the Red Devils were eliminated from the Champions League by Wolfsburg last month.
So with the England U21’s contract set to expire at the end of the season, United might decide to cash-in this month rather than potentially lose him for free in the summer. Currently, it seems the Red Devils are willing to grant him the chance to prove worthy of a new deal, but a decent bid around the £5million mark could quickly convince them otherwise.
Louis van Gaal refused to loan out Marouane Fellaini earlier this month amid interest from AC Milan but is reportedly open to a permanent departure.
No doubt, the 6 foot 5 battering ram certainly has his uses but from his three campaigns at Old Trafford, only during the second has the Belgium international truly looked like a United quality player – and that was only in fits and spurts between lengthy spells on the bench.
When in top form, Fellaini can border upon unplayable. But anything below his best and the Red Devils are more often than not left with a cumbersome midfielder who can’t control the ball – let alone ship it onto a team-mate.
The 28-year-old’s effectiveness when employing a more direct philosophy remains indisputable, however, and plenty of clubs should resultantly be interested in taking him off United’s hands. But the Red Devils reportedly want £24million for Fellaini – which seems a little steep.
One can’t imagine Manchester United selling both Marouane Fellaini and Ander Herrera this month, but the Spaniard doesn’t seem to have much of a fan in Louis van Gaal – who has issued him just eleven Premier League starts out of a possible 22 so far this season.
And although United fans seem far more fond of the 26-year-old playmaker, who certainly offers something a little different to their other central midfield options, he’s not exactly set the world alight since arriving at Old Trafford for a pricey £29million two summers ago.
With that in mind, if United are approached with a bid that recoups the vast majority of their original investment, Louis van Gaal could resultantly decide to part with Herrera and splash the cash on another midfielder who he has a little more faith in. Juventus are said to be particularly interested.
Then again, LVG’s relationship with the fan base is already frosty to say the least and Herrera’s departure could tip them over the edge.