Manchester United: Top 5 January targets


With the January transfer window now just days away, Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has some potentially huge decisions to make in the opening month of 2012.

Speculation in Italy has today claimed that Rasmus Elm is set to join the club in the summer, but that won't help the current situation at Old Trafford as injuries threaten to take their toll on the club's Barclays Premier League title bid.

Despite the club's shock Champions League exit, options will still be available to the Red Devils chief as he considers the best possible move for the club.

GiveMeFootball takes a look at five of the best who could be heading for Old Trafford, and rates how good the move would be should United make their move...

1. Wesley Sneijder (Inter Milan & Holland)

No list of Manchester United transfer targets would be complete without Sneijder, but reports today that Inter are willing to let the player leave the San Siro has shot the 27-year-old to the top of the possible pile.

A talented attacking midfielder with a proven track record in the Eredivisie, La Liga and Serie 'A', as well as at the highest level in European club competition, Sneijder also helped his country to a World Cup final in 2010.

Close to making the move in the summer, Ferguson is thought to be an admirer of the Ajax academy graduate, who fits the bill as a potential replacement for Paul Scholes following his summer retirement.

GMF rating: Whilst the transfer fee and wages are possible stumbling blocks, the speculation is simply unstoppable. His ability and experience make him a great option. 9 out of 10.

2. Nicolas Gaitan (Benfica & Argentina)

The Argentine international has been heavily linked with Old Trafford since the summer transfer window slammed shut at the end of August.

An attacking midfielder who impressed in the Champions League against the Red Devils, Gaitan's agent denied that a deal has been struck between the two parties a fortnight ago, but claimed talks had taken place between the clubs.

Valued in the region of £25 million, the former Boca Juniors starlet has said today that he's calm about the transfer link.

GMF rating: A player with clear potential after some impressive performances at Europe's top table, Gaitan would be a solid signing but behind Sneijder in the fans' pecking order. 6 out of 10.

3. Klaas Jan-Huntelaar (Schalke & Holland)

A name speculatively placed in the Manchester United frame for years, Huntelaar has been forced to play down rumours over a move to England after reports re-surfaced recently.

The Dutch hitman has a proven pedigree during his times with Ajax and Schalke, although relatively unsuccessful spells with Real Madrid and AC Milan suggest points of concern in the tougher divisions.

With Dimitar Berbatov potentially on his way out of the club and injuries taking their toll, a striker move could be on the card. Huntelaar appears the best option, with 15 goals in 16 Bundesliga matches this term.

GMF Rating: With Berbatov hitting fine form, Ferguson is unlikely to let the Bulgarian leave. If he did, Huntelaar is on fire this season, and has a point to prove in one of the 'elite' leagues. 7 out of 10.

4. Yann M'Vila (Rennes & France)

Another midfielder, the Rennes starlet is of a different ilk to the aforementioned two however, and is a wanted man across Europe.

The 21-year-old has already earned 17 caps for his country, with Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool also monitoring the player from the Barclays Premier League. Real Madrid are also keen.

M'Vila is like no other player currently on the books at United, but evokes the memory of Patrick Vieira in his style of play and could fit perfectly in a 4-3-3 or 4-4-2 formation as the holding player.

GMF Rating: United have been in great form defensively of late, although questions still remain over the strength of their midfield. M'Vila could be at the heart of the side for a decade. 8 out of 10.

5. Raul Albiol (Real Madrid & Spain)

A versatile centre back who quietly goes about his business, Albiol is one of the more under-rated players plying his trade in Spanish football.

The 26-year-old has amassed 31 caps for Spain, but appears to have fallen foul of Jose Mourinho at the Santiago Bernabeu after being used sparingly so far this term.

Injuries have once again stretched United to the limit across the back-line, and with the ability to play in the full-back position as well, Albiol could suit the current predicament at Old Trafford.

GMF Rating: The less glamorous of all the Manchester United targets mentioned, Albiol could be the most important given the current situation at the back. Would be a short-term measure though. 5 out of 10.

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