Man United transfers: Four players David Moyes could sign in January
Man United transfers: Trevor Murray takes a look at four players the Red Devils could sign in the January transfer window
Ángel Di María
Despite not being shunned utterly into the shadows by the arrival of Gareth Bale during the summer, it could still be worth Manchester United’s time renewing their interest in Ángel Di María and submitting a bid for him. With Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young both looking rather uninspired on the wings, it’s not difficult to imagine how easily Di María would slot into David Moyes’ system. And with the Argentinean winger more than capable of playing on either flank, he would inject some much-needed flexibility to the Scot’s squad. Of course, with the added incentive of next summer’s World Cup in Brazil, Di María certainly needs more minutes if he’s to ensure he gives himself the best possibility of starting as many games as he can. If United come calling with the right amount of money, Real Madrid President, Florentino Perez might just be tempted to let him go, particularly with Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo in such excellent form over the last few weeks. At 25 years of age, the skilful Argentine international has yet to reach his peak, and with United in the midst of yet another rebuilding phase, a move to Old Trafford might seem like a big risk. But it’s one he may well jump at if the money is right and Chief Executive Ed Woodward can convince him they are a side ready to make an excellent impression come the New Year and beyond.
Having been snubbed time and time again by Leighton Baines who seems more than content with life under Roberto Martinez, it may well be time for United to set their sights elsewhere in the hunt for a promising left-back. And where better to look than in Serie A, a veritable breeding ground for miserly defences and exciting talent. In fact, what other club to look at than AS Roma and their squad? In particular, the reigning Premier League champions could do a lot worse than zoning in on their 21-year-old left-back Dodo. Although he’s only played two full 90-minute matches for the Italians this season, he has become a rather vital cog in Rudi Garcia’s set-up, helping them to remain unbeaten so far in the league having only conceded a very meager three goals. A player who likes to forage forward whenever possible, is keen to go down the line and beat defenders and is well-tuned into the defensive duties of a left-back, Dodo might well be the buy Moyes has been waiting to make ever since he took up Sir Alex Ferguson’s mantle earlier this year. Of course, Roma would probably demand quite a high fee for the promising youngster, but if they could fork out that little bit extra, it might be worth it. In any case, they certainy need some fresh options in defence with 32-year-old vice-captain Patrice Evra’s powers waning considerably over the last few years.
It seems as though Iker Muniain’s potential has gotten the better of himself over the past few months as his performances have stagnated somewhat in the red and white of Athletic Bilbao. And while a move to England could well be seen as quite a gamble for the young Spaniard to take, it may be the tonic he craves in order to get him back to playing at his best – after all, two goals and two assists in La Liga are certainly nowhere near the level many would expect of a so-called prodigy. With his sight’s clearly set on playing regular football in the Champions League, United could lure him with the promise of exactly that. And although the Red Devils face one of the most difficult season’s in their recent history to fight back against the current of clubs all vying to get inside the top four, it’s no secret that they are a bigger club than Ernesto Valverdes’ crop of Basque talent and have a far better chance of securing him some playing time in Europe’s elite club competition. And with Ryan Giggs not getting any younger, the time is right for Moyes to strike and bring in some young potential all of his own. Granted, Muniain is not without his baggage – a strong sense of self-criticism and high standards are thought to be behind much of his poor form of late – but a fresh start under the wing of much of United’s more experienced players might just reinvigorate the 20-year-old back to the form many know he is more than capable of.
It’s no secret; United are in desperate need of some consistent creativity and flair in the middle of the park. Their recent 5-0 victory over Bayer Leverkusen at the BayArena showed the fans exactly what their side are capable of, but in the long run, it’s clear that they won’t all come as easy as that win. Thankfully for them, Shinji Kagawa has shown encouraging signs of improvement over the last few weeks and his deft little dink over the Leverkusen defence for Wayne Rooney to feed Chris Smalling for a goal was yet another flash of genius that will have sated many a fan’s appetite for the moment. But with most of their title rivals boasting world class midfields capable of unlocking the best defences in the world, it’s vital that Moyes splashes the cash on someone like Wesley Sneijder. The Dutch international has so much experience and talent to offer that it would be a sin for Ed Woodward to not try and prise the 29-year-old playmaker away from Galatasaray. Perhaps United need him more than he needs them, with Sneijder already enjoying regular Champions League action, but it would surely be a tempting offer for Sneijder to regulalrly link up with his fellow international team-mate Robin Van Persie. Over at the Theatre of Dreams many will be hoping this is a move that proves too tempting to pass up for all involved.