Premier League

10 players who could join Man Utd in January

FT Desk
FT Desk

  • 2 Jan 2023 13:55 GMT
  • 5 min read
Christian Pulisic, Man Utd, 2022-23

Manchester United’s January transfer window plans may not be as extensive as fans of the club hope, but the Red Devils are certain to be in the market in order to bolster Erik ten Hag’s squad as they aim for a return to the Champions League.

United spent over budget in the summer, and the result of that is a smaller winter spend. Already the club has missed out on Cody Gakpo, who has moved to Liverpool, having been a long-term target for the Old Trafford side.

Loan deals are being touted as the order of month, but there is still a suspicion that Man Utd will spend should the right option arrive.

Here are 10 players Man Utd will be targeting:

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Joao Felix

Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure has left a gaping hole in attack, and there is a feeling that Joao Felix could fill it. However, there are issues. Atletico Madrid’s asking price even for a loan is large while Arsenal are considered to be favourites for the Portugal international, whose favoured role is not even in the centre-forward position.

Jeremie Frimpong

United are looking for a right-back, despite Ten Hag having been won over by Diogo Dalot and, to a lesser extend, Aaron Wan-Bissaka in recent times.

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Bayer Leverkusen’s former Celtic and Manchester City academy right-back Jeremie Frimpong is high on their list, and fortunately for United, Inter’s Denzel Dumfries got fit in time for the World Cup, so Frimpong has remained relatively under the radar.

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Diogo Costa

David de Gea has performed surprisingly well under Ten Hag, but it is too late in his career for him to become the ball-playing goalkeeper the manager really wants. Furthermore, Martin Dubravka has returned to Newcastle.

Step forward: Diogo Costa, whom United have targeted as their first-choice No.1 going forward. Costa hasn’t had a great World Cup with Portugal, but unfortunately for United he extended his Porto contract in November, meaning he will command a significant fee. Likelier to be a summer transfer target.

Christian Pulisic

Things haven’t worked out for Christian Pulisic at Chelsea and Man Utd are willing to give the American a way out, especially with Pulisic’s former Borussia Dortmund team-mate Jadon Sancho struggling at Old Trafford. United wanted a loan, but Chelsea are determined to make around €40m on his transfer.

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Hakim Ziyech

Another Chelsea winger, and one whom Ten Hag has worked with before, Hakim Ziyech won the Dutch domestic treble with Ajax in 2019 before his big-money move to the Blues the following year. Now surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge, although Chelsea would rather sell to AC Milan than strengthen a rival.

Marcus Thuram

With United looking at attacking options, Marcus Thuram is worth consideration. Enjoying a spectacular season in the Bundesliga, he is out of contract at the end of the season and available cheaply. An attacker who can play several different roles, he may not be a big-name signing, but he is one that could prove very useful.

Memphis Depay

Memphis Depay has already been a Man Utd player, spending a rather disappointing 20 months with the club between May 2015 and January 2017 before leaving for Lyon. Has since plundered goals for OL, Barcelona and the Netherlands, though, and would be a cheaper alternative to Pulisic with his Barca contract running down.

Min-Jae Kim

United are in the market for a centre-back with club captain Harry Maguire not trusted by Ten Hag, and the Raphael Varane half of his preferred central defensive partnership with Martinez injury-prone. Min-Jae Kim could be that man.

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The South Korean has impressed at Napoli in the Chelsea-bound Kalidou Koulibaly’s stead, and has a release clause of €45m which is only valid for two weeks next July. United might have to be patient unless they are happy to pay over the odds in January.

Youssoufa Moukoko

It is decidedly un-Borussia Dortmund to let a young player’s contract run down – this is a club who squeezed €85m out of United for Sancho in the summer of 2021 – but that is exactly what they have done with Youssoufa Moukoko.

The 18-year-old starred at the World Cup with Germany and is a player worth spending big on.

Moises Caicedo

Should Enzo Fernandez prove unattainable – Chelsea look to have the Benfica star locked down – United have a central midfield solution closer to home in Moises Caicedo. The Red Devils nearly signed the Ecuadorean for less than €5m before he went to Brighton, and he could now cost 10 times that with the Seagulls determined to keep him at least until the end of the season.

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