Manchester United in desperate need of a central midfielder

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David Moyes is yet to make the marquee signing he so craves to kick off his reign as Red Devils boss.

The Scot has repeatedly stated his intentions to sign a midfielder but has already seen bids for Barcelona duo Thiago Alcantara and Cesc Fabregas fail.

The United manager has undoubtedly been handed one of the strongest squads in the Premier League but in midfield he has real problems.

Michael Carrick has shown real quality in the centre of midfield but those around him lack the quality to maintain a title push against the reinforced Manchester City and Jose Mourinho's rejuvenated Chelsea side.

It is an area that has been a concern for a good number of years and adding to his midfield options is now a massive priority for Moyes in the remaining three weeks of the transfer window.

With time running out, Moyes must act fast to fill the gaping hole at the centre of the United side, but why has it been so difficult for the Premier League champions to attract the top class player they require?

Firstly, the transition into what has been billed as the toughest job in the land has been far from smooth for Moyes. Before he was even through the door, Sir Alex Ferguson had announced that Wayne Rooney no longer wanted to be a United player, sparking months of speculation about the England forward's future.

Moyes has repeatedly stated that Rooney is not for sale but this has done little to diffuse the situation. This uncertainty about Moyes' ability to replicate the success of Ferguson as well as the Rooney situation has perhaps discouraged big players from joining United this summer.

United looked odds on to secure the services of Thiago Alcantara as far back as early June, but the Spanish starlet instead opted to join Bavarian powerhouse Bayern Munich. The deal was reportedly close with the only stumbling block being Thiago's contract.

Moyes and United’s head of transfer negotiation, Ed Woodward, failed to act quickly enough. This encouraged Pep Guardiola to pip the Manchester club to Alcantara's signature and so Moyes missed out on his first major target.

Next on Moyes' hit list was FC Barcelona's Cesc Fabregas, a player who would add quality to any midfield.

However, the pursuit again proved to be fruitless and the public nature in which United went after the Spaniard left the club with a bloodied nose after Fabregas publicly stated he had never considered leaving.

Previous transfer dealings at Old Trafford were dealt with in an extremely private manner and the departure from this system has raised alarm bells that Moyes may lack experience in dealing with transfers at the highest level of the game.

With Moyes' main transfer targets now unavailable, his options are becoming fewer and fewer with names such as Luka Modric being touted as possibilities.

However, despite these claims, there has been little to suggest that a deal for the Croatian is anywhere near happening, leaving Moyes' former charge Marouane Fellaini looking like the most viable midfield option. Fellaini has clear quality and would add goals to the United midfield but he is not the star name Moyes wanted bring in to kick off his reign in style.

Whilst Moyes is likely to be given the full six years of his contract to develop a new United team, it may well be his actions in the next three weeks that will determine the success or failure of his first term in charge.

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