Ilkay Gundogan has been out all season with a back problem - would United have moved for him otherwise?
Manchester United had perhaps their best moment of the season on Wednesday night - after they turned around a 2-0 deficit to defeat Olympiakos in the Champions League second round.
But overall this has been a poor campaign for David Moyes and co - as they have struggled to match the exemplary standards set by the club under Sir Alex Ferguson.
One area that looked woefully out of its depth in the recent 3-0 defeat against Liverpool was their central midfield options.
Michael Carrick and Marouane Fellaini both have their respective qualities but their lack of pace both physically and on the ball make them a poor pairing.
Ryan Giggs demonstrated some of what is needed in midweek - but he is not getting any younger. Darren Fletcher is still struggling to get back to full match fitness while Tom Cleverley has become such an unwanted figure at the club we doubt many a United fan likes seeing his name on the team-sheet these days.
In the summer they were linked with Cesc Fabregas, Thiago Alcantara and Ander Herrera - but none of those moves came off.
But could it be that another player was always their main target for the midfield - but he simply never became available.
Ilkay Gundogan has often been linked with United - and he was the, in my opinion, undoubted star of the Borussia Dortmund team last season.
However if they were interested in the €27 million rated maestro they never got a chance to sign him.
The German international has not played since the opening day of the season and recently suffered a setback in his recovery from a nerve problem in his back - which has essentially ruled out anybody making a bid for the player.
United might have wanted him first and foremost - however he has never been in a position to make such a move.
Dortmund remain hopeful of keeping their man in the summer - but if this theory proves correct Moyes and co will be back in.