Following their 3-1 defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, Manchester United now face a fight to claim a place in the top four this season to qualify for the Champions League.
While denials have been made that Manchester United's future depends on securing Champions League football, signing their top summer targets surely does.
David Moyes stated following the game that the Red Devils’ targets this month are difficult to acquire in the January market but could the under pressure boss relieve some of the pressure on his team by letting players go instead?
United are currently six points off Liverpool in fourth which is a gap they are capable of closing but could they use the transfer market to impact the teams vying for that fourth spot rather than trying to sign players themselves?
Liverpool, Tottenham and Everton will undoubtedly be their rivals for that place this term as Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City vie for the title itself but those top teams are presently looking for one or two additions to boost their title challenge.
Arsenal and Chelsea, for example, are linked with a number of strikers this month but it is difficult to acquire the targets capable of impacting the title fight in the winter window.
United have Javier Hernandez who is covering the injured Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie at present but with the star strike duo soon to return, David Moyes could perhaps put him to better use…
In the summer, Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho allowed striker Romelu Lukaku to join Everton on loan and former Blues coach Ray Wilkins suggested earlier on this season that Mourinho had approved the move so that Everton would be in a stronger to beat Chelsea’s direct title rivals.
If Moyes were to offer Hernandez to Arsenal or Chelsea on loan, the London rivals would be in a stronger position to beat the likes of Liverpool, Spurs and Everton this term, effectively giving United an advantage over their rivals for the top four – potentially even the equivalent of 9 points which, incidentally, would be more than enough to break into the top four at present.
Then there is youngster Wilfried Zaha who has been given almost no chance under Moyes so far – he has been linked with Newcastle where, if he were to go out on loan, he could potentially give the Magpies enough added quality and firepower to cause a couple of upsets.
The North East side have proven themselves capable of killing a few giants this season beating United at Old Trafford, Tottenham, Chelsea, and drawing with Liverpool this term.
It would be unorthodox transfer business, I’ll admit, but it could prove to be a masterstroke for Moyes who is looking increasingly unlikely to land his top targets for United this month – as an alternative strategy to ensure the champions qualify for the Champions League.
the Scot should consider strengthening the clubs vying for the title and those capable of throwing a spanner in the works for Spurs, Liverpool and Everton who, as things stand, are the clubs United should be most worried about.
image: © joncandy