Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson may be prepared to enter the January transfer market in order to reinforce two problem areas of his side. While United returned to form in a 3-0 victory over Newcastle on Sunday, their early season has been dogged by weaknesses at centre back, coupled with a lack of dynamism in the center of midfield. It is these two positions which United may be looking to strengthen, according to the latest speculation.
In midfield, Ferguson is keen to bring in Celtic’s Victor Wanyama states the Daily Mirror. The report claims that United scout, and Ferguson’s brother, Martin, has watched the Kenya international on more than once occasion already this season. The 21-year-old has impressed since arriving at the Scottish champions from Belgian side Beerschot last summer.
Celtic are said to want £10 million for Wanyama, although United reportedly think they could succeed with an offer of £7 million.
United’s midfield has long been criticized for having a lack of energy and tackling ability, factors that were crudely exposed in the recent home defeat to Tottenham.
What was also evident in that encounter was a weakness in defense. Not for the first time in recent months United have found themselves undermanned at the back, with injuries to Nemanja Vidic, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones.
With that in mind, the People claims that United could make a move for Fulham centre back Brede Hangeland. The Norwegian’s contract is due to expire next summer and so it is likely that United could secure him on a cut-price deal.
Hangeland has long been linked with a move away from Craven Cottage, although at 31, he would likely only be a short-term solution.
United’s reported interest in Hangeland could also be due to doubts over the future of captain Vidic. The People also alleges that both Barcelona and Juventus are trying to tempt the 30-year-old into leaving Old Trafford. Vidic’s contract is due to expire in the summer of 2014 and it is possible that if he is not offered a new deal by the end of next summer, United may cash in on the Serbia international.
Another central defender that United have been linked to in recent times is Mats Hummels. The Borussia Dortmund 23-year-old is regarded as one of the best young defenders in Europe and performed for Germany in Euro 2012.
Hummels signed a new five year contract at the Westfalenstadion in the summer, effectively ending speculation linking him with both United and Barcelona. However, Hummels has revealed that he would be open to a move in the future.
“One day I will say that I am keen on a transfer," Hummels told Bild.
"To play football in a new country would be flattering. I already had offers and one inquiry from these offers was really one of interest for me.
"But I told myself that the time is not right for such a move. There was a reason behind my recent contract extension. When you are a Borussia Dortmund player then you do not move to all clubs.
"In the Bundesliga it would just be about Bayern Munich but this club has no shortage in my position. In Europe there are just about four to five clubs that would really interest me."
There have also been further reports concerning another Dortmund star United are said to be pursuing. Striker Robert Lewandowski is thought on United’s wish list for next summer, although, according to Tuttosport, they could face competition from Juventus. The Polish international has entered the final two years of his contract and hinted that he would be interested in a move.