Manchester United have discussed signing Harry Winks from Tottenham

Tottenham Hotspur v Brighton & Hove Albion - Premier League

Manchester United are in dire need of midfield reinforcements. 

With Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba both sidelined for their last two games, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men have looked totally devoid of inspiration in the middle of the pitch. 

The Athletic report that the club have at least identified a target for the January transfer window in their problem area - Tottenham's Harry Winks. 

United are hoping to tempt Winks, who suffered a knock to the ankle in Sunday's 1-1 draw with Middlesbrough in the FA Cup third round, to the north-west and senior figures have been discussing his potential. 

The England international became a key figure at Spurs under Mauricio Pochettino but has started just four league games since Jose Mourinho arrived in November. 

Ironically, the turning point seemed to be his pairing with Moussa Sissoko in the 2-1 defeat to Mourinho's former employers at Old Trafford. 

On two occasions since, the 23-year-old has been left on the bench even when Spurs have needed to replace a central midfielder. 

According to the Athletic's report, United are not the only team weighing up whether he could be lured from the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Manchester City have likewise been impressed by Winks in a deeper role and see him as a possible successor to Fernandinho.

ANALYSIS

GIVEMESPORT'S Kat Lucas says: 

In one regard Tottenham and United's problems are very similar. 

The Lilywhites are equally light in Winks' area and Mourinho has made no secret of his frustrations at Tanguy Ndombele's persistent injuries. Inevitably, the former Lyon star is sidelined as we speak after limping off in the first half in the 1-0 defeat to Southampton. 

Eric Dier has also faced countless spells out through illness and Victor Wanyama has made one substitute appearance in a dead rubber game since Mourinho took the reins. 

FBL-ENG-FACUP-MIDDLESBROUGH-TOTTENHAM

January is also a do-or-die month for Daniel Levy's numerous other problems and this is one dilemma he doesn't need to consider. 

Christian Eriksen is being shipped out imminently to avoid him leaving for nothing at the end of the season - though his move to Inter Milan is suddenly in doubt - and Jan Vertonghen's contract situation means he is another potential departee. Winks, on the other hand, is tied down until 2024 at his boyhood club.

Is he good enough for United? Pochettino once compared him to Andres Iniesta, but he also gets criticised for his love of the sideways pass and his reluctance to attack. A steady football brain but perhaps not the game-changer Solskjaer needs. 

While there is no indication he wants to move on, surely a bid from either of the Manchester clubs would give him serious pause for thought. 

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