Manchester United: Three MAJOR moves needed before January transfer window closes

Manchester United news- Erik ten Hag faces an uphill task as he aims to revamp the squad in order to save Man Utd's season; here's how
Erik ten Hag- Under Pressure at Manchester United
Erik ten Hag- Under Pressure at Manchester United / Stewart Kendall/Allstar/GettyImages

As the January transfer window inches closer to its finale, Premier League giants Manchester United find themselves at a pivotal juncture. With ambitions high, the Red Devils are in dire need of strategic moves to fortify their squad. Here are three crucial actions that could define United's fortunes for the remainder of the season.

Striker Reinforcements

The Red Devils are in the market for a striker and the news of Anthony Martial’s 10-week absence post-groin surgery further adds to the emergency. There are, however, viable options available:

First on the list is Karim Benzema, who, despite joining Al-Ittihad last summer, found life tough in Saudi Arabia and is reportedly open to a loan move before the winter transfer window closes. Although recent reports claim United have removed themselves from the race to sign the French goal-machine, but, with just a week left, manager Erik Ten Hag may ultimately secure Benzema, which would be an experienced option for the second half of the season.

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting from Bayern Munich, who, having seen reduced playing time this term under Thomas Tuchel, is considering a return to the Premier League. Though Bayern might be hesitant to part ways with him mid-season, Choupo-Moting's potential return to England could offer him more regular starts.

Joshua Zirkzee has emerged as a prime target, with United leading the race against Arsenal for the Bologna striker. Deemed as the next Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Zirkzee’s skills and proficiency in front of goal make him one of the most sought-after young strikers. The 22-year-old has already amassed seven goals in 15 Serie A outings for the Italian side and reportedly has a £34million release clause in his contract, but sources claim it is only active for former club Bayern Munich, meaning United may have to pay well above the buyout clause to lure him to England.

Brian Brobbey from Ajax, a player who manager Ten Hag is a huge admirer of. The Dutch manager has already tried signing him from his previous club but the player refused to move in 2022. Although Ajax have struggled as a team this season, Brobbey has scored 15 goals and provided four assists in 26 appearances for the Eredivisie club.

Mass Clearout

Erik ten Hag is gearing up for a major overhaul of the Manchester United squad in 2024 as the team grapples with a challenging season. Under new owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe, changes are assured with the club boss aiming to raise more than £100million from player sales, complying with the FFP regulations.

Raphael Varane has lost his place in the starting lineup and Aaron Wan-Bissaka face contract uncertainties, which leaves the defence under scrutiny.

The midfield is set for significant changes, with Fred being the sole departure in the summer, and players like Casemiro and Christian Eriksen potentially facing exits due to a dip in form.

Mason Greenwood is eyeing a move to Barcelona while Brazilian winger Antony is also in line for a potential exit from The Old Trafford. The looming decision on Martial's future adds to the roster reshuffle, emphasizing Ten Hag's commitment to reshape the squad for improved performance and results.

More Loan Deals

With not much time left for the transfer window to shut, United may see both incomings and outgoings, majorly focusing on loan deals. The Red Devils would not be held to make any panic-buys on the back of nine loan outings from The Theatre of Dreams this month, with Jadon Sancho reuniting with Borussia Dortmund and Donny van de Beek to Eintracht Frankfurt being some notable names.

In terms of adding more firepower to the squad, Ten Hag must aim to get deals done well ahead of the deadline day, which could mean some short-term fixes might possibly be on the cards.