Manchester United are believed to be interested in a host of midfielders, but one man who is barely mentioned could solve their problems.
Manager David Moyes inherited a squad that, whilst talented in some areas of the field, was in need of some retooling.
New chief executive Ed Woodward has big shoes to fill as he replaced David Gill, and the failed moves for Thiago Alcantara, Ander Herrera and a handful of other players has already put him under pressure, and the £27.5m signing of Marouane Fellaini has yet to reap any rewards.
Poor results against the likes of West Bromwich Albion, Everton and Newcastle United has drawn Moyes plent of criticism, with a strong January transfer window imperative as the Red Devils look to close the gap at the top of the table. Whilst United have been linked with a number of players from centre back to wingers, it's still central midfield where they need reinforcements.
And despite being linked with names such as Kevin Strootman, Miralem Pjanic, Remy Cabella and even Wesley Sneijder, the solution to their problems could be staring them in the face – Newcastle United's Yohan Cabaye.
The Frenchman, who turns 28 in January, scored the winning goal for the Magpies at Old Trafford earlier in December, and has been a reported target for title challengers Arsenal and Liverpool, with a £22m price tag allegedly over his head – which is probably a more reasonable fee than what United could buy the aforementioned midfielders for.
A player like Sneijder and even Cabella prefer to play in the No. 10 role, just behind the striker – where United already have Wayne Rooney and Shinji Kagawa – making a move for either of the two somewhat redundant. It would also explain in part why Moyes turned down the opportunity to sign Mesut Ozil, who is also a more advanced playmaker.
Instead, United need a box-to-box midfielder who can create and score goals – which is exactly what Cabaye brings to the table for Alan Pardew's side. A threat to score from set pieces or long range, Cabaye has cemented his position as one of the finest central midfielders in the Premier League this season with a host of fine displays, and could star for Laurent Blanc's France at next summer's World Cup.
He may not be flashy, and he may not be a big name, marquee signing that United are looking for, but Cabaye is effective and should certainly be in the discussion as United look to improve their midfield.
To get a quality player that will improve the team, United will have to spend at least £22m – and with Cabaye already acclimatised to life in the Premier League, there surely can't be many better options than the former Lille man.