United had failed bids for both Herrera and Baines during the summer while Gundogan has been a name strongly linked with a move to Old Trafford following stalls in a new contract with Borussia Dortmund as a consequence of his injury laden season so far – but how likely is it that all three or any of these players will join in January?
Leighton Baines is the most likely to make a move despite Everton’s desire to hold onto him. The fact that he is yet to sign a contract extension on his current deal that ends in 2015 suggests there is room for negotiation. If Everton were really serious about not selling him at all, they would push for a new contract to be signed sooner rather than later with January just around the corner but Roberto Martinez is happy to bide his time.
Ander Herrera‘s move to United only broke down in the summer because Moyes and Woodward felt that his €36 million release clause was too much to pay. They went in with a lower bid in the hope that Athletic Bilbao wanted to sell but they had no intention of ever doing so.
Has enough changed since the summer? Nothing to suggest that Moyes will now be willing to meet that release clause. His performance in Bilbao’s 1-0 win over Barcelona at the weekend was one of his best this season but he has struggled to establish himself in the side with any sort of consistency since the summer. If anything, Moyes would go in with an even lower offer to test if Bilbao still wanted to hold onto him.
As for Ilkay Gundogan, he is a dream signing that is not likely to materialise. Borussia Dortmund are not in a position where they need to sell and Gundogan himself has been sidelined for a long time this season, which is the only reason why a new contract has not been finalised yet.
In contrast to Everton’s approach with Baines, Dortmund have reiterated they have no desire to sell Gundogan and want to get contract negotiations started very soon.
“Of course, we are very interested in signing a new contract with Ilkay Gundogan,” their general manager Michael Zorc said this week.
“Due to the injury that Ilkay Gundogan is out with at the moment, talks regarding a new deal have stalled, but we are keen to soon resume negotiations on a new contract.”
While it would be brilliant for United to bring in two established central midfielders and one of the most consistently effective left backs in European football in January, a move for all three is probably not going to materialise and Baines remains the most likely to move to Old Trafford out of that trio of players.