Why Moyes says January signings are unlikely for United

Manchester United boss David Moyes has stunned his own fans by saying the Red Devils will not be signing any players in the January transfer window.

The former Everton manager is already under increasing pressure as Manchester United continue to stumble at Old Trafford this season. But most fans had expected spending in January to solve their issues – particularly in the centre of midfield. However Moyes told the United faithful to expect little movement this month and to instead look toward the summer for new recruits.

"I don't think so," he told reporters when asked if he would buy this month. "I think most of the business will be more towards the summer rather than January."

Moyes' comments can be taken a number of ways. Firstly, this could – and should be – a ploy to make sure United do not overspend.

Managers will regularly say that they are no interested in any players in January, as prices tend to be driven up if you admit that you are in the market for new recruits. Teams will prey on the desperation of teams if they are aware of available funds, and Moyes could be playing the transfer window down to keep United flexible in the market.

Additionally, last summer saw the dawn of a new era for Manchester United, as Moyes replaced Sir Alex Ferguson in the Old Trafford dugout. Fans were expectant as United entered the transfer market seeking to sign players like Thiago Alcantara, Cesc Fabregas and even Gareth Bale, but Moyes and new chief executive Ed Woodward failed to deliver, bringing only Marouane Fellaini to the club on deadline day.

There are similar expectations now with United struggling, and after the animosity that followed United's failed summer attempts, preaching caution is a way for Moyes to ensure that fans do not get their hopes up during a window where teams rarely allow good players to leave halfway through the season.

Regardless of what Moyes says, it seems incredibly unlikely that United will go through the whole of January without making any moves, with a delegation reportedly in Spain looking to tie up a deal for Atletico Madrid midfielder Koke.

With so many issues that need resolving throughout the team, it will take more than one transfer window to turn United back into the fearsome force they were under Ferguson.

Moyes is right to place emphasis on the summer transfer window, particularly with the World Cup on the horizon, but he must also try to strengthen this month as the turnaround at Old Trafford will be gradual rather than instantaneous.

image: © Gordon Flood

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