David Moyes may have a strong transfer budget in order to recruit players in the winter market, but can the club actually attract top quality still?
Manchester United's floundering start to the season, combined with the panic that underlined their transfer policy during the summer market's deadline day, are just two factors in the club's struggles of late.
Succeeding Sir Alex Ferguson was never going to be a smooth transition, but David Moyes found out the hard way that achieving the expected results of an elite team while convincing in-demand world-class players to join the Old Trafford outfit is no easy feat.
While a minority of disgruntled United fans have attempted to fast-track the Scotsman's departure with trending hashtags such as #MoyesOut, the club's top brass have continued to publicly back Moyes and The Mirror have reported they will put their money where their mouths are by handing the 50-year-old a substantial £50m transfer budget for the winter window.
To date, Moyes only managed to acquire Marouane Fellaini from Everton for £27.5m and Saidy Janko from FC Zurich for an undisclosed sum, despite being linked with players such as Cesc Fabregas who stayed at Barcelona, Thiago Alcantara who joined Bayern Munich and Ander Herrera, who remains at Athletic Bilbao after a deal collapsed due to a difference in player valuation between the two negotiating clubs.
With £50m can Moyes and executive vice chairman Ed Woodward do in a single month in January what they failed to do for an entire summer and land their first-choice targets?
Herrera remains a viable option, however, if United are to capture the playmaker then they will have to bid the fee required to activate the 24-year-old's release clause.
Woodward may argue that the £31m is not reflective of the player's worth, but last season the midfielder attempted 104 dribbles in La Liga - more than any of the players on the Manchester United roster, made 115 tackles - again, more than any Red Devil while also creating 37 chances, winning 63% of his duels and has already peeled off 11 shots in the current campaign.
Elsewhere, United may need to move on from Leighton Baines, a player Everton seemed loathe to allow to leave in the same window and/or season as versatile midfield asset Fellaini, however, the club have been linked with a move for Porto centre back Eliaquim Mangala, a towering Parisian of Congolese descent who is valued at £13m according to transfermarkt.co.uk.
Do you think Herrera and Mangala are of sufficient quality to drive United back into title challenging credentials? Or can the club attract players of even greater ilk? Let us know in the comment section below…
image: © Jason Gulledge