Five alternatives to Pjanic for Manchester United in January

Manchester United are currently linked with interest in Roma midfielder Miralem Pjanic ahead of the re-opening of the transfer window in January.

United are thought to be considering a move for the 23-year-old Bosnia and Herzegovina playmaker who arrived in the Italian capital in 2011 after making his name with Lyon in France.

Pjanic has been in fine form for Roma so far this season, scoring three goals and making three assists in 9 Serie A appearances as an attacking midfielder but, since United were unsuccessful with attempts to sign the likes of Cesc Fabregas and Ander Herrera this summer, is Pjanic the right player to come aboard at Old Trafford?

Whilst his form has been good so far this campaign, last season Pjanic managed just three goals and six assists in 27 Serie A appearances which, compared to Fabregas’ 11 goals and 14 assists in La Liga alone for Barcelona last term, is a way short of the quality and consistency the champions of England should be looking at.

1) Blaise Matuidi

This 26-year-old PSG midfielder has scored two goals and made four assists for his side and has recently attracted interest from Chelsea and Manchester City with questions raised over his future. Currently he is an automatic starter for the club, and is valued at around £20 million.

2) Ivan Rakitic

25-year-old Croatian playmaker and captain of Sevilla has scored five goals and made three assists in nine La Liga so far this season. He’s the right age and experience level and has the leadership capabilities as well as the quality United require. He is Sevilla’s equivalent to Fabregas.

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3) Roberto Firmino

If it’s a youngster United prefer – the kind of Thiago Alcantara signing they were linked with in the summer – they ought to snap up Hoffenheim’s highly rated Brazilian midfielder Robert Firmino. At just 22 years of age, he has emerged as one of the finest young prospects in the Bundesliga – so far this season in just 9 league appearances he’s scored seven goals and made assists and, at present, he’s valued around £10 million.

4) Remy Cabella

Of similar status in Ligue 1, 23-year-old French playmaker Cabella has scored five goals and made four assists in 10 league appearances for Montpellier this campaign and United could likely have him for £15 million, half of what they’d likely pay for Pjanic or Herrera.

5) Sidney Sam

Another Bundesliga gem, this 25-year-old Belgian is making a name for himself at Bayer Leverkusen where he’s scored seven goals and made four assists in ten league appearances in Germany where he is valued around £6 million.

images: © Damien Cansse, © psgmag

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