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United's best potential January imports

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With Arsenal having signed Mesut Ozil, Manchester City having signed Stevan Jovetic, Alvaro Negredo, Jesus Navas and Fernandinho but Manchester United only bought in Marouane Fellaini.

Many pundits have begun to say that Man United may not even finish in the top 4 this season.

This sense of doubt has arisen because of the fact that United literally failed to signed any big name players except for the big Belgian.

And in a league full of big money spenders like Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur, United can't afford to lose out on their transfer targets. Tottenham were the most big money spenders this summer as they had signed talented players like Christian Eriksen, Erik Lamela and a very good striker in Roberto Soldado.

Other young players like Nacer Chadli, Etienne Capoue, Vlad Chiriches and their best signing, the Brazilian Paulinho, also arrived at White Hart Lane to significantly strengthen Spurs.

Chelsea and Manchester City also spent very well this summer and although they splashed heavily to bring new players in, their squads look set to reap the rewards as a result.

Many are tipping United to spend more heavily this January, so here's a list of players who could well join United.

5. Fabio Coentrao- Real Madrid

The 25-year-old left back nearly joined United late on transfer deadline day, only for Madrid to pull out after hearing that their move for Guilherme Siqueira had been hijacked by Benfica.

The young Portuguese defender had reportedly broken down due to the fact that his loan move to United had collapsed. This was majorly because of the fact that Madrid prefer Marcelo, who is believed to be better than Coentrao and thus is ahead of him in the left-back slot.

Now however United have hinted that they are very much interested in returning for Coentrao in January. The winter transfer window will offer Fabio Coentrao a chance to move out of Real Madrid and United may well get him.

4. Andrea Pirlo- Juventus

David Moyes had confirmed that he is in need of reinforcements this January and Andrea Pirlo has emerged as a surprise target for him.

The veteran Italian playmaker has put contract talks on hold, and this activity has sparked off interest from Premier League trio United, Spurs and Chelsea. Pirlo played a key role in helping Juve claim back-to-back Serie A titles since his arrival at the club on a free transfer in 2011 following a decade with AC Milan.

However, he will be out of contract at the end of the season, by which time Pirlo will be 35, and there has been speculation about his future beyond next summer. Nobody knows what might happen concerning come the transfer window, but Pirlo's future certainly looks uncertain.

3. Juan Mata- Chelsea

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho had already remarked that playmaker Juan Mata is not in his immediate plans and has continued to omit Mata from the starting XI. United, who were interested in signing the Chelsea no.10 are looking to make a move for him.

Tottenham, Arsenal and his former club Valencia have also registered interest in signing him but United clearly are desperate to sign a formidable playmaker like Mata or Pirlo. He proved he was capable of scoring goals for Chelsea under Di Matteo, Villas-Boas and Rafael Benitez, but his development might be hindered by being repeatedly benched.

Inadequate playing time will also affect his international performance and he will surely be looking for a move away from the London club if lack of game time threatens his selection for the World Cup.

2. Leighton Baines- Everton

United's pursuit of the 28-year-old left back failed in the summer as they saw two bids rejected for the Englishman.

Baines scored a brace against West Ham in Everton's previous game and as a result Everton won 3-2.

The full-back was looking to sign a new contract with the Toffees some weeks ago but he hasn't done it yet. United will surely look to make another renewed bid for him in January and although Roberto Martinez has expressed a desire to ensure Baines remains an Everton player, they will surely consider any big-money moves Moyes and co. make for him.

Baines was expected to receive a major pay rise in a new deal after not trying to manoeuvre away from the Toffees to the Premier League champions during the transfer window, but Martinez says there are currently more pressing concerns to address.

1. Ander Herrera- Athletic Bilbao

Manchester United manager David Moyes will watch Ander Herrera in action next week as he steps up his pursuits of the Athletic Bilbao midfielder.

The young 24-year-old was linked with the a move to United but the Red Devils failed to land him.

United's £30.5million summer bid was rejected late in the transfer window but they will surely make a renewed attempt to sign the Spanish playmaker. The Spanish midfielder is an exciting young prospect of the beautiful game and has even made some appearances for the Spanish U21 and U23 side.

At United he will get starts and United do need a player similar to him. But the persuasions and negotiations involved will be tough because Bilbao are pretty keen to hold on to him. United, who have sent scouts to watch Herrera on Monday will certainly make an offer for him in January and may well end up signing him. 

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Manchester United
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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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