Manchester United boss, Sir Alex Ferguson has been forced to do something he has not done for most of his years at Old Trafford. That is to make large scale changes in the January transfer window.

History tells us that he has not made such changes for most of his time at Old Trafford, with Evra and Vidic being the most notable exceptions, both arriving in the January transfer window. However, Ferguson has been stunned by the continuing poor form of some of his players at the start to this season, most notably Nani.

The Nani situation has been going on since the last part of last season where his form dipped markedly. This has since been attributed to an ongoing tussle between Nani`s advisors and the Old Trafford executives over a new contract. It seems that United do not value Nani as highly as he values himself! Insiders have told me that the situation is such that Ferguson does not speak to Nani and he is being left out of team selections. For his part, Nani`s form has degenerated to the point where he was taken off at Everton after a shocking performance and has not played since.

Fergusons reluctance to move Nani on in the Summer transfer window, was due to the continuing injury to Ashley Young, which has degenerated from a simple knock to the knee, to an ongoing saga. It is only recently that United`s medical staff have got to the bottom of it and he is now not far away from playing. That has given the green light to Ferguson to alert clubs that Nani is available at the right price.

Another senior player to feel the heat is Evra. Evra has been on a long, but steady, decline in form which has been monitored by Ferguson. This prompted the rather surprising signing of Buttner to cover at Left Back. However, Buttner is no mere youngster. At 23, he is on the verges of a full international place with Holland no less. His introduction to United could not have been more dramatic, with a goal in his first full senior match, and a display that suggest that Evra`s days are numbered. Moreover, Buttner can play at right back, being two-footed, and even as a winger.

Evra was complicit in all of the goals conceded to Tottenham at the weekend and his flaws were cruelly exposed by a team full of strong, physical, young players with pace to burn. He was continually caught out of position and this was cleverly exploited by Spurs manager Andre Villas Boas.

The third, and perhaps most surprising, member of the first team to be rumoured to be on his way out, is Hernandez. This may be because of some talk in the press in Spain, mainly Marca, that United have suggested a swap of players between the clubs. United want a defender, and are looking at Arbeloa or Ramos. A lot of this is speculation, but the rumours do have some legs according to BBC Sport insiders.

Ferguson knows, even at this stage, that with Ferdinand approaching the end of his career and serious concerns over the state of Vidic`s knee, he may have to move in January rather than wait until the Summer of 2014, when another title will have slipped away.