Manchester United could be set for a busy January transfer window, with up to ten first team squad players linked with loan switches or permanent deals away from the club.
The 30-man roster available to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (or 31 including expected arrival Amad Diallo) could be reduced to a streamlined 20/21 if all the mooted deals go ahead as reported this winter.
The squad is likely to be one goalkeeper lighter, with unregistered Sergio Romero almost certain to leave. The Red Devils have been holding out for a sale to try to recoup some money on the Argentinian international, with David Beckham’s Inter Miami a possible destination. However, a loan move to Spain is looking the most likely outcome at the moment.
No less than five defenders might also be packing their bags in January. Veteran Phil Jones has not played for the side at all this season and made only eight appearances last term – only two of which were Premier League starts. The problem with Jones will be finding a buyer after so many injury problems have limited his chances to put himself in the shop window.
Another defender who could see a January exit is Marcos Rojo. His situation is similar to that of his fellow Argentine, Romero, in that there are no shortage of loan offers – Newcastle and Sheffield United are reported to be among the suitors – but the club is keen to sell the player rather than allow his contract to run down while out on loan.
Brandon Williams is certainly not for sale but is another player who has hardly had any game time this season. The 20-year-old has only started two EFL Cup games and made three substitute appearances this term after a busy 2019-20. Bayer Leverkusen and Southampton are leading the chase and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted last week that the club are considering allowing a loan to take place.
Tim Fosu-Mensah is another full back who is being starved of game time at an important stage in his career. He has not started a game since the opening day loss to Crystal Palace and The MEN (via Sports Mole) claims that he is holding out on signing a new contract at Old Trafford as he considers his future.
Eric Bailly has also been linked with a move from Old Trafford as his injury-plagued career continues to falter. He has recently been linked with a loan switch to AC Milan and a move back to his old club Villareal, but this is the most unlikely of the defensive departures unless United sign a new centre-back in the same window.
Another unlikely but not impossible departure in January is midfielder Paul Pogba. His agent Mino Raiola recently suggested that the Frenchman’s career is over at United and that he is desperate to leave. Football’s current financial climate makes such a high-profile transfer a difficult one to pull off in a winter window, but it has been widely reported that Juventus are exploring ways of making it happen and that Solskjaer is now desperate to get rid of what he sees as a bad influence in the dressing room.
Jesse Lingard could be one of the most likely names to secure a January loan as he attempts to get his career back on track. After playing 40 games for the club last season, he has featured in just two EFL Cup games this term. It was recently reported that he has told the club to play him or let him go and that Spanish high-flyers Real Sociedad are interested in taking him on loan.
Daniel James’ story is similar to that of Lingard, having notched 46 appearances last term, but only managing six appearances this season. As was reported here earlier this morning, Brighton and Leeds are both keen to take the Welshman on loan.
And finally, one player who will almost certainly leave the club in January is striker Odion Ighalo, whose loan move from Shanghai Shenhua comes to an end on the 31st. Edinson Cavani’s arrival has left the Nigerian surplus to requirements and at this stage, only a major injury crisis among the forward line could cause his loan to be extended.
Edinson Cavani has made quite an impact since his deadline day arrival at Old Trafford, but how much do you know about our other South American players, past and present? Take our quiz below to find out!