David Moyes says he will not be pressured into mass-panic buying when the transfer window reopens in January, despite Manchester United’s woeful start to the season. A 1-0 loss to Newcastle United on Saturday was the champions’ third Premier League defeat at Old Trafford and fifth in total in these still early stages of the campaign. Yet, having made just one signing amid a series bungled approaches for talent, Moyes is adamant that he won’t rush to try and put things right next month.
“In any transfer window you don’t want to be bringing in a full batch of players, so I think there’s a period of time that it takes,” he said, according to the Daily Mirror. “The last one was a difficult one after just joining the club, so we’ve got a window in January where, if we think if it’s right for the club, we’ll do so.
“If not, we’ll look again in the summer. This club is always looking to bring in the best talent and that won’t change. I don’t think I’ll feel under pressure personally to do it [buy in January] as I’ll try to do the right things. I tend to take my time and try to assess what are the best talents to bring in. You can see that from the players I brought in at Everton.”
As in the summer, if there is an area that Moyes will be prioritizing in January it is in improving his central midfield options. According to a recent report in The Guardian, Moyes is considering going back in for Athletic Bilbao’s Ander Herrera. United’s pursuit of the 24-year-old represented the nadir of their summer transfer activity with United leaving it to the closing embers of the window to haggle over his €36 million (£30.1m) buyout clause before three mystery lawyers turned up in Spain to reportedly try and deposit the money.
It is said that United still hope to negotiate a deal worth less than his release clause, but there appears little chance of those efforts probing successful, given Bilbao’s policy of only having Basque players and being in no need to sell. Herrera, too, does not appear overly keen on a transfer.
“I appreciate both Manchester United’s interest in me and the fact that I am considered so important to Athletic that they did not accept any bid for me,” he told Canal Plus recently. "I’m right where I want to be. I’m not a player of six or seven teams, I want to feel at home wherever I am and Athletic is the perfect place for that.”
United have also been linked with highly rated Sporting Lisbon midfielder William Carvalho. The 21-year-old is said to be on the radar of several of Europe’s big clubs and recently made his debut for Portugal in the second leg of their World Cup playoff against Sweden. However, despite their reputation as a selling club and having several players said to be desired elsewhere, the current Portuguese Liga leaders claim they are not prepared to sell in January.
“The club has decided that there will be no sales in January,” Sporting president Bruno de Carvalho said, according to Sky Sports. "The club is leading the division for the first time in nine years and we are determined to fight for the title. Only if a ridiculous offer is put in for a player will it be studied."
It appears that United will also come up empty should they pursue reported interest in Barcelona’s Alex Song. After a disappointing first season in Spain, the former Arsenal man was linked with a return to the Premier League in the summer. United have since been linked with the Cameroon international, but on the back of featuring more regularly in his favored midfield position under Gerardo Martino, Song says that he is now much happier at the club.
“In comparison to my first year, I feel much better,” he said, according to Spanish sports daily AS. “When you move to a new country and have to adapt to a new language, a new culture, which requires time. Life’s much better and I am very happy to be here.”
Given Manchester United’s lack of creativity, old links with Dutch midfielder Wesley Sneijder have also resurfaced of late. United were close to signing the then Internazionale star in the summer of 2011. After a dispute over his salary at Inter, Sneijder left for Galatasaray in January, but TalkSport is the latest outlet to claim that United could move for him in a possible £8.5 million deal.
This seems a highly unlikely prospect, however. Sneijder is on hefty wages in Turkey, and it is hard to imagine United be willing to part with significant sums for a 29-year-old whose best days appear behind him.