Manchester United will have done all their business in the January transfer window, unless the possibility of snapping up a blockbuster signing arises before it slams shut on Monday night.
This is according to a report from ESPN, who claim sources have revealed to them that the Old Trafford club aren’t interested in any signings to deal with problems in the short term. This means the problems facing Louis van Gaal’s squad will have to be addressed internally.
Manchester United have already acquired the services of former Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes on a free transfer, but were being linked with a number of high-profile names heading into the final week of the window.
The report claims the club drew up a list of 12 players they were targeted for the winter window, dividing them into different groups based on priority. The likes of Kevin Strootman, Mats Hummels and Nathaniel Clyne are all mentioned as being in the ‘top priority’ group.
However, AS Roma have continually refused to countenance the sale of Strootman in the current window, most likely because they are second in Serie A and the Dutchman will be crucial if they are to have any chance of overhauling Juventus.
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He has also picked up another knee injury, just a few games after returning from cruciate ligament damage that had kept him out since last season. An injury that forced him to miss out on the Netherlands squad at the World Cup, where the coach was Van Gaal.
Hummels has recently made clear he is not going to consider any transfer in January, as Borussia Dortmund are embroiled in a relegation battle. It has been a disastrous start to their Bundesliga season, but Hummels has vowed to stay on.
The ESPN report claims that a deal could be possible to sign Clyne from Southampton in the next week, as he looks set to leave the South Coast club in the summer anyway. Van Gaal will not get the chance to recruit a short-term ‘stop-gap’ solution, only top targets will do.
United Stumbling Again
After a dreadful start to the season, it looked as though United had turned a corner when they went on a six-game winning streak at the end of last year, but the stunted performances have returned in recent weeks.
Defensive lapses in concentration and organisation are being compounded by a lack of creativity in the side. Failure to score as regularly as required is being put down to, in some quarters, Van Gaal’s propensity to change the team set up too much.