As domestic football has screeched to a halt for the next month due to the World Cup, Manchester United have been handed some rare breathing room to focus on the upcoming January window.
It’s set to be an interesting period in the new year as United’s needs contradict their desires. Director of football John Murtough has already repeatedly stated that the club are unlikely to splash the cash midway through the season following their massive outlay in the summer, while it’s understood plans to recruit a new big-money striker – with Victor Osimhen on the list – won’t be implemented until after the season has concluded.
“Ultimately, we made a record level of investment for a single window, reflecting the conditions in the market, but also our commitment to supporting the manager,” Murtough said in October. “We ended the summer slightly ahead of where we expected to be in terms of the number of players brought in, so we don’t anticipate the same level of activity in future windows, although we will continue to strengthen.”
That doesn’t sound like a club ready to make more large investments when the window reopens but in all likelihood, United will need some new signings, especially if they want to secure Champions League football this season and ensure they can be competitive for their top striker targets.
Up-front is an area in particular need of reinforcement and that was the case before Cristiano Ronaldo decided to go and all but ensure he will never play for the club again. Whether his contract is torn up, he’s sold or left to train on his own, if he’s no longer involved that leaves United with just two senior striker options. Marcus Rashford who’s better playing off the left and Anthony Martial who has been injured three times this season.
Right-back is also a position Erik Ten Hag has been eyeing to provide competition for Diogo Dalot but as well as incomings there could be outgoings in January. Ronaldo is the obvious candidate but Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Donny van de Beek, Brandon Williams and others could all be ushered out the exit door.
You can vote in the widget below which players United should keep and which they should sell in the transfer window. The results will be published later this week.