Manchester United boss David Moyes conceded that he is less than confident of being able to attain his main targets in the January transfer window. Having missed out on a number of targets in the summer and enduring a poor start to the season, there is much pressure on Moyes to start putting things right next month. However, he is aware that it will be tough to get the players he wants in mid-season.
“We will look [at targets]," he said, according to Sky Sports. "But I wouldn't turn around and say that I'm massively sure that we will get them. Because a lot of the players we would be interested in wouldn't be available for us in that month of January. But we'll certainly be looking."
United have been linked with ambitious moves for Radamel Falcao and Diego Costa of late, but Moyes has dismissed the need for a striker.
Falcao is reportedly unsettled at Monaco, following his big-money summer move and is also said to be interesting Real Madrid and Chelsea. Costa, meanwhile, has thrived on the responsibility on his shoulders following Falcao’s exit from Atletico Madrid and has hit 19 goals in just 17 La Liga appearances this season. The Brazilian-born 25-year-old, who has declared his intention to play for Spain, is also thought to be on the radar of Arsenal and Chelsea. Moyes, though, believes he is adequately covered up front.
"I would not say we are in desperate need of an out-and-out centre-forward," he explained. "We have got Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney, Chicharito [Javier Hernandez], Danny Welbeck. Shinji [Kagawa] can play in behind as well, we are covered.
"It is easy for people to throw names up, but when they look at it more closely you might say it wasn't that good a suggestion."
Instead, Moyes is likely to put a greater importance in improving the side’s creativity. The Sun has reported that the former Everton manager is lining up a £25 million transfer for Schalke’s highly rated attacking midfielder Julian Draxler.
The 20-year-old has been linked to many of Europe’s top clubs and has long been seen as one of the continent’s best prospects. Already a regular member of the Germany squad, he has scored four goals and contributed six assists in 22 appearances for his club this season. It is far-fetched to believe that Draxler will move to Old Trafford in January and certainly not for the fee suggested.
Schalke are through to the last 16 of the Champions League, giving him an incentive to stay, and he would be cup-tied for United in that competition. His Bundesliga club are also unlikely to listen to offers that do not match his €45 million (£37.7m) release clause.
Real Madrid’s Angel di Maria, with whom Manchester United are one of a number of clubs to be linked, would appear to be a more realistic target. However, the Argentine winger, whose place has been put under the threat by the arrival of Gareth Bale, has dismissed reports that he wants to leave the Bernabeu.
“I do not want to go,” he said, told Spanish sports daily AS, according to ESPN. “I want to win my place in the team. Not me, nor anyone in my camp, has asked for a new contract. What came out was lies. I have been through some difficult days. I am just thinking about Real Madrid and I am still working hard. I have to keep going and try to earn a place in the team.”