United and Chelsea play down transfer window - are they right to?

Despite difficult periods for their teams Jose Mourinho and David Moyes insist they won't be too active in the transfer window.

The January transfer window often sees a flurry of activity as managers look to improve their squads having seen half of the season go by. Many managers resort to panic buying – particularly on deadline day – as the moves made in the New Year will shape fortunes until the end of the season.

It is usually the teams scrapping for survival that turn to the January transfer window in order to improve their chances of staying in the Premier League, but the big guns have the money and pulling power to attract players if they need them. Two teams that may try to add more quality are Chelsea and Manchester United, after some underwhelming aspects of their seasons so far.

Chelsea are struggling to get their strikers scoring goals, with Fernando Torres, Samuel Eto'o and Demba Ba combining for just four league goals this season. Romelu Lukaku, who Mourinho loaned out to Everton in September, can't stop scoring and many have suggested that Chelsea should target a goalscorer in the New Year.

However, Mourinho seemingly doesn't believe that he needs to buy one, despite being linked with a number of centre forwards such as Burak Yilmaz, Jackson Martinez and Robert Lewandowski.

"I'm not expecting moves," he told reporters. "The market will be open for a month, so in the market you never know what can happen, but I don't think so."

When asked about signing a striker, Mourinho declared that the Blues would be sticking with what they have until the summer. “We will go to the end of the season with Fernando, Samuel and Demba. Nobody to come in, nobody to go out."

Meanwhile, Manchester United boss David Moyes is under huge pressure after successive home defeats, falling to Everton and Newcastle United in disappointing 1-0 losses. With a handful of disappointing players who clearly aren't good enough to help United get back into the title race, Moyes will surely not only have to bring players in but also move players out.

But former Everton boss Moyes insists that there won't be many arrivals in the January window, as he looks to take his time in building a team that can take United back to the summit of the Premier League.

"In any transfer window you don't want to be bringing in a full batch of players, so I think there's a period of time that it takes," Moyes said. "I don't think I'll feel under pressure personally to do it [buy in January] as I'll try to do the right things. I tend to take my time and try to assess what are the best talents to bring in. You can see that from the players I brought in at Everton."

Both managers are playing down the impact of the January transfer window, but it appears to be a clear tactic to keep transfer fees reasonable. If either manager stated that they would attack the market with plenty of money, teams would immediately drive the prices of their players up as they know teams are desperate to sign them.

If that theory is wrong, then both managers have seen things from their team that others haven't. Chelsea are only five points behind leaders Arsenal, but the addition of a goalscorer could catapult them to the top of the league very quickly. Moyes certainly needs an influx of talent to not only save United's season, but to possibly save his job. United fans are disgruntled already, and most are expecting the Red Devils to be very active in the January transfer window.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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