David Moyes made a very public attempt to try and sign a new left-back last summer, as he seeks a long term replacement for current defender Patrice Evra.
Moyes went all out to try and sign Leighton Baines from former club Everton and when that became impossible, he quickly switched his attention to Real Madrid’s Fabio Coentrao.
He was the ideal candidate. A very talented Portuguese player, able to slot straight into the side and someone with plenty of domestic and European experience in the game.
However, the deal didn’t happen on the final day of the summer transfer window and each party went their separate ways.
Coentrao has been well used by Carlo Ancelotti at Real Madrid this season with four starts in the league, but it’s Real’s performance against Rayo Vallecano last weekend which Marca picks out, as the side used all four full backs during that game.
“The match against Rayo Vallecano provided insight into the form of the four 'Los Blancos' backs, as all of them played - Marcelo is far from at his best and Coentrao has not regained his focus after a summer when he was hoping to leave,” reads the report.
That inconsistency in selection is not surprising considering Ancelotti is still getting used to life as Real Madrid boss but it could be a sign that Coentrao could be vulnerable to another United bid this winter.
The idea that Ancelotti doesn’t really know what combination of full backs to use at the moment means there is no guarantee that Coentrao is going to get regular domestic and European football over the rest of the season.
The issue for David Moyes is whether he goes after someone Everton clearly don’t want to sell or whether he focuses his attention on a competent defender, who is still suffering from his desire to leave in the eyes of the Spanish press,
Ultimately, Moyes has made it clear that he doesn’t have a lot of faith in the current left-back back up options at Old Trafford and if Evra is serious about not renewing his contract at the end of the season, a top quality left-back should be the priority.
image: © anna enriquez