It’s been a quiet transfer window for Manchester United thus far - not so with regards to the players they've been linked with, but more the dearth of arrivals at Old Trafford.
Adnan Januzaj's return from Borussia Dortmund has been the only significant piece of business so far, but following the injury sustained by Ashley Young against Liverpool last weekend, it seems Louis van Gaal is keen on new recruits.
On the Englishman's injury, according to the Independent, Van Gaal said: "Young has a severe groin injury and he has to be operated on. So he is a long time away again.
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"He is a player who can play in the full-back positions, so we have four players injured in the full-back positions now.
"How we have coped with that all season is amazing already, but it is still a problem."
Young, whose versatility has proved vital to United this season by playing at right-back, joined the likes of Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo, Antonio Valencia and Luke Shaw on a long list of defensive injuries.
The 30-year-old's injury means Van Gaal will now be forced to rely on youngsters Paddy McNair and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson - the latter played as left wing-back against Southampton on Saturday - until reinforcements can be made.
Unfortunately for the Dutchman, however, there's not a lot available, which he too recognises.
"I need full-backs. The difficulty is that we ask for a certain level and we are looking, but it is not so easy."
What's more is the air of desperation surrounding United gives their rivals leverage to demand more money for their players.
And one player this could impact is Everton's John Stones, who continues to be linked with a move to Old Trafford. Signing the Englishman would be a huge boost for United given his ability to play at right-back or centre-back, but the fact remains that the Toffees would demand in excess of £40 million.
Van Gaal could also look towards the likes of Wolfsburg's Ricardo Rodriguez. The Swiss has impressed this season and would come cheaper than Stones, but again, it's likely he'll still command a high transfer fee.
Somewhere closer to home is another option for United's Dutch manager, with Bruno Martins Indi one of those who Van Gaal managed during his time as Netherland's manager.
With the winter transfer window soon to close, United must act fast if they're to sign cover for their depleted defence; if they don't, however, the Red Devils face the possibility of missing out on Champions League football next season.
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