The most likely Manchester United signing in January?

Surya Solanki writes that Fabio Coentrao is the most likely to end up at Manchester United.

Manchester United slumped to a 2-1 defeat to Swansea City on Sunday in what was the Red Devils fourth home loss in six games.

The squad David Moyes has at his disposal at present is not strong enough and the Scot himself has admitted immediate strengthening is required.

"There is an urgency that we would like to bring people in...," Moyes said after United's embarrassing third-round FA Cup exit.

However, Moyes further went on to add that most players will be unavailable during the current winter transfer window.

"There is no point in me hyping it up because the players we would like to bring in are probably not available in January, not because we don’t want to do it.

"I said I would try, but that it would probably be doubtful in January because of the window."

As much as the fans would like to see new signings, it is unlikely United will get their transfer targets in January.

Moyes has always maintained that United are after the "best players". But such players won't move to a new club and in case of most of United's targets, to a new country in a World Cup year.

For example, if United sign Koke, chances are by the time Koke will adapt to the Premier League, Vincent del Bosque will have named his World Cup squad without the youngster.

Moreover, players like Koke and Marco Reus are not only cup-tied but also playing a crucial role in their club's aspirations this season. Atletico Madrid are fighting for the La Liga despite all odds and Borussia Dortmund are genuine contenders for the Champions League.

On the other hand, United's best chance of silverware this season is the League Cup. They can't even promise Champions League football anymore. So, why will Koke and Reus come to Old Trafford?

They can at-least wait until the end of the season.

Not to forget, the clubs of such players won't listen to any offers as the departure of the latter could scupper the chances of winning a trophy. They'd rather wait till the summer when they might even get a better deal (if Reus and Koke impress at the World Cup and in the second half of the season).

After all, United won't overpay for any player, like Chelsea did for Fernando Torres, will they?

Now in case of players like Remy Cabella situation is slightly different as the player is willing to leave and the club, Montpellier in the 23-year-old's case, is willing to listen to offers.

But knowing United's desperate situation, Montpellier will demand a price (much) higher than the market price. Also, United are not the only interested party (Newcastle United are expected to bid for Cabella), increasing the chances of a bidding war.

So, the only players United can realistically target this January are the ones not needed by their clubs. World-class talents rarely suffer such a fate, but Real Madrid left-back Fabio Coentrao has.

The Portugal international has been reportedly offered to United for £12 million and Coentrao is desperate to leave as his chances of playing at World Cup could take a hit if he stays with Madrid till the end of the season.

Four years younger than Baines, Coentrao is exactly the kind of left-back United need. Moyes targeted him in the summer but failed. However, he can now finally sign the Portuguese.

image: © anna enriquez

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