The Red Devils came into the new season full of optimism after an impressive pre-season under new boss Louis van Gaal, but ultimately slumped to a 2-1 defeat against Swansea City on the opening day of the campaign. Fans were understandably disappointed, but are now hopeful that the loss will spring the club into life in the transfer market.
United have so far spent around £60m on Southampton left back Luke Shaw and Athletic Bilbao midfielder Ander Herrera, but a lot more is needed - particularly after the patchwork team at van Gaal's disposal on Saturday afternoon. Centre back and central midfield have to be the primary concerns for United, but they could yet solve some of their problems in one fell swoop.
It's well known that the club have been pursuing Sporting Lisbon duo Marcos Rojo and William Carvalho during the summer transfer window. Rojo, 24, impressed for Argentina at this summer's World Cup and looks to be a perfect fit in van Gaal's 3-4-1-2 system having played at both centre back and left back in his career so far.
Meanwhile, Angolan-born midfielder Carvalho has been on the club's radar for some time now, and recent reports suggest that United will look to snap up the 22-year-old if they can't secure a deal for Juventus star Arturo Vidal this summer.
Now, speculation in Portugal is rife with rumours that Sporting are interested in taking midfielder Anderson or ex-Sporting winger Nani in exchange for Rojo. It's unlikely that United would be willing to offer both players in order to get just one back, so including Carvalho could be the next logical move.
Brazilian Anderson, 26, is well out of the picture at Old Trafford having spent the second half of the season on loan at Fiorentina, and could be open to a return to Portugal having impressed with Porto there between 2005 and 2007, whilst Nani - who failed to impress as a substitute against Swansea - also looks set for the Old Trafford exit.
With Anderson able to replace Carvalho in midfield and Nani providing the club with a boost in attack, it could be the perfect swap deal, giving United the chance to sign two young World Cup stars in exchange for two players that seem to have no future at United anymore.