Ever since Cristiano Ronaldo left Manchester United for Real Madrid in the summer, Sir Alex Ferguson has had money burning a hole in his pocket. After a relatively inactive summer for United, you felt that January may not be so quiet at Old Trafford. Recently Man United have been linked with a move for Benfica’s Angel Di Maria, a player who draws similarities with Ronaldo and who will be looking to test himself on a bigger stage. But are the central defence and striking positions not a greater priority for Ferguson to fill, and with the deadly David Villa seemingly available, is Wayne Rooney’s forward partner staring United in the face?
The three positions that Fergie should be looking to strengthen in the January transfer window are up front, central defence and possibly left midfield. The first of which has become a priority as current striker Dimitar Berbatov faces a spell on the sidelines due to knee surgery that he will have to undergo in the near future. With Michael Owen unlikely to be up to the task of partnering Wayne Rooney, a new striker may be on United’s January shopping list, and one in particular seems to fit the bill.
David Villa ticks all the boxes as far as Man United are concerned. His club Valencia have terrible financial difficulties and may be forced to sell, Villa himself has recently stated his desire to play in England by telling The Times that “I like the Premier League a lot” and he would give United a constant goal threat. Alongside the work-rate, creativity and all-round game of Rooney, Villa would get plenty of opportunities to hit the back of net, something he has yet to fail to do during his career. An outside bet for a striker that might go to Old Trafford in January is Sevilla’s Luis Fabiano, who has said that “I don’t think it would be a problem for me to fit in at United at all.” Fabiano would be more of a presence up top, but any possible move looks likely to happen in the summer after the 2010 World Cup.
United have been beset by defensive problems this season and injuries to key defenders continue to mount up. No return date has been set for Rio Ferdinand, and with Rio set to be out for the immediate future, an experienced defender wouldn’t go amiss. West Ham’s Matthew Upson is a name that is being touted around, as the England international looks to book his place in Fabio Capello’s World Cup squad. The Hammers also face financial difficulties, and a reasonable bid from United would secure Upson’s transfer. If Ferguson is looking for a youngster instead, then Simon Kjaer may interest Sir Alex, but Mancini’s Manchester City may rival him for the Dane’s signature. Uros Cosic, ‘The Next Nemanja Vidic’ is also on United’s radar, but the 17 year old is some way off challenging for a starting place in the Premier League.
Finally there is the dilemma of Angel Di Maria. United are somewhat short on the left hand side of midfield and with Ryan Giggs entering the final phase of his career, Di Maria seems like a good option for United. The Argentina starlet is tipped to shine at the 2010 World Cup and his value can only increase after the tournament, so now may be the time to bid. It is rumoured that Benfica have rejected a £10 million swap deal that would have also seen Nani join the Portuguese side, as they fight to hold on to one of the hottest properties in world football. So a larger bid is needed, but should United make Di Maria their number one target and go all out to sign the youngster, or are there other more viable options out there?
Manchester United’s current squad is good enough to win the Premier League, but some strengthening of the squad to cope with injuries in January would go a long way to making them firm favourites. If United could sign one or two of David Villa, Matthew Upson and Angel Di Maria then their fans should be pretty happy, if they could sign all three the supporters would be delighted. Who should Sir Alex make his priority signing, and is there anyone else you would like to see go to Old Trafford in the January transfer window?