David Moyes' left-back hunt: Five alternatives to Leighton Baines

Inside Old Trafford

The Manchester United manager missed out on his former star pupil in the summer but is now considering his options in a problem position.

Manchester United's 2-1 defeat to Swansea in the FA Cup prompted manager David Moyes to admit there is an "urgency" on the club's behalf to draft in some fresh blood during the transfer window.

An injury crisis coupled with yet another pedestrian Old Trafford performance saw United crash out of the competition at the first hurdle, as Wilfried Bony's stoppage-time strike consigned Moyes and his men to a fourth home defeat in a month.

If there was any consolation to take from the loss, then surely the club must address the visible inadequacies in the squad and ensure they secure the vital fourth spot.

While most United fans are clamouring for midfield reinforcements, Moyes has recognised the need to add to the left-back spot, with doubts surrounding Patrice Evra's long-term future at the club and Alex Buttner failing to impress during his spell at the club.

United's ultimately ill-fated move for Leighton Baines in the summer was expected to be resurrected but Moyes is beginning to see little value in forking out a rumoured £20m for a 29-year-old would have little resale value.

So, here is a list of potential fallback options for the Manchester United manager as he looks for value and quality in any prospective acquisitions.

Fabio Coentrao

It may seem like a rather obvious choice given United's failed late move for the Portuguese in the summer but the Real Madrid man represents a proven elite level competitor at an affordable price. With Marcelo the undisputed No.1 left-back at the Santiago Bernabeu, Coentrao is eager to secure a move to boost his World Cup prospects.

Luke Shaw

The Southampton flyer has gone from strength to strength in his breakthrough campaign and continues to impress. Chelsea and Tottenham are the rumoured frontrunners for the 18-year-old's signature but they have been told he will go nowhere until the summer at the very earliest. It would take a significant bid to change the Saints' tune but United could nip in and seal an individual already establishing himself in the Premier League and who will only continue to improve.

Alex Sandro

Moyes was rumoured to have watched the Champions League clash between Atletico Madrid and Porto personally and checked out various targets, with the Brazilian leaving a positive impression on the United manager. Sandro arrived from Santos in 2011 and has developed a reputation for his attacking qualities.

Ricardo Rodriguez

The Switzerland international has been a revelation for Wolfsburg since joining the club in January 2012. The 21-year-old shows a desire to get forward but has also proven to be a reliable figure in the German outfit's backline, with strong tackling and fantastic aerial ability supplementing his attacking strengths such as crossing and dribbling. Probably one of the most attainable left-backs on the market.

Ashley Cole

A controversial choice, perhaps, but surely the Chelsea stalwart still has enough to offer a United side on the decline, despite becoming something of a fall guy since Jose Mourinho's return to Stamford Bridge. Cole, akin to the problem with a Baines deal, would provide next to no resale value but possesses a considerably cheaper price tag and could still go to the World Cup as England's first-choice left-back, ahead of the Evertonian.

Which left-back do you think Manchester United should buy to replace Patrice Evra?

image: © crystiancruz

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