Former Chelsea defender Jason Cundy has written in his column for IBTimes.co.uk that Southampton duo Nathaniel Clyne and Morgan Schneiderlin should be at the top of Manchester United’s transfer wishlist this winter.
Clyne, 23, has established himself in the England setup this season with his stellar performances for the Saints, but the emerging right-back is now entering the final 18 months of his contract.
Talks over a new deal are understood to be on-going but, with Louis van Gaal reported to be circling in a bid to bolster his defence, the club could well be forced to cash in on his services in the future.
Schneiderlin, meanwhile, was expected to leave the south coast for either Arsenal or Tottenham Hotspur in the summer after handing in a transfer request, but the club somehow managed to hold onto their star midfielder.
Speculation surrounding his future has not died down since, however, and, with United needing someone to fill the holding role, Cundy sees either the Frenchman or Sporting Lisbon’s Willian Carvalho as the ideal candidate.
The ex-Blues man in fact thinks Van Gaal should have made a run at Schneiderlin in the summer, and believes the Red Devils are now counting the cost of investing in attacking luxuries like Shinji Kagawa, Juan Mata and Radamel Falcao over recent seasons rather than improving the defence.
“At the moment, it seems they have thrown all these big-name forward players together, without much thought as to where they want to play them,” he wrote.
“Did they need Falcao? The answer is clearly no. The money would have been better spent on someone like Javier Mascherano, or Morgan Schneiderlin, who had a great game against them on Sunday.
“They have to go and sign a holding midfielder – I'd be looking at Schneiderlin or William Carvalho, a player who has been linked with United for a while now," he continued. "Van Gaal also needs to bring in at least two centre-halves, and I'd also replace Rafael with Nathaniel Clyne, another of the Southampton lads who was excellent at Old Trafford.”
Clyne and Schneiderlin would no doubt prove solid additions for United but, with Southampton currently in the race for a Champions League spot, it seem unlikely that boss Ronald Koeman would allow either to leave in the coming weeks.