Two players United are bookmakers favourites to sign in January

Louis Van Gaal

Manchester United are favourites with the bookies to sign two players this January.

Manchester United are expected to be busy in the January transfer market and their movements have been well-tracked by various bookmakers that have them as favourites to land three key targets.

BetVictor have named United the frontrunners in the race for Bayern Munich's Bastian Schweinsteiger (5/1), while BWIN have offered low odds of just 6/4 for the Red Devils to land Joao Miranda.

Elsewhere, although not the favoured destination in the market for after the January transfer window, SkyBet have offered odds of just 5/2 for Kevin Strootman to join up with his old international coach, behind the offered the bet of him staying at Roma at a much smaller 1/2. 

Analysis:

Louis van Gaal has done extremely well with what he has been given in Manchester, especially considering the amount of injuries that have stacked up along the way. 

Five straight wins on the bounce have lifted the Red Devils from mid-table into third position - five points off Manchester City and eight off Chelsea. 

Now in a good position, the desperation to strengthen may not be all that great, however, the Dutch manager will undoubtedly eye up a few new faces coming in and the bookmakers predictions, in some cases, may be right on the money. 

Schweinsteiger, who has recently returned from a lengthy injury, could well be the replacement for Scholes United need and would come in with great experience. And, although he wouldn't be cheap, the competition for places at Bayern mean that he could be one of the easier options for Ed Woodward to sign up this January. His age and recent injury issues however only mean he is likely to be a short-term option.

Both Strootman and Miranda have been linked more recently and the reports to the club are reflected in the odds that have been given.

As a Dutch international, Strootman has a good relationship with Van Gaal and the talk of his signing has been carried through from the summer. Nevertheless, the 24-year-old has a similar style of play to the Bayern midfielder and it could come down to which one Van Gaal prefers the most. As it stands, Strootman may actually be the more likely signing. 

Miranda has been linked in light of United's defensive crisis, but with players returning in their numbers the noise over the need for a central defender has been reduced. However, at 6/4, it seems BWIN are not entirely confident that Miranda will be overlooked when the transfer window re-opens. 

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