Gareth Bale Real Madrid 2014
Real Madrid is reportedly willing to part with Gareth Bale, as long as they can land Chelsea's Eden Hazard. Reuters

Manchester United re-entered the thick of the Premier League title race following Saturday’s 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace, but need to address several issues if they hope to move any higher than sixth on the table.

For a club that added Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao over the summer, the Red Devils were expected to blow out opponents but have instead scored 17 goals in 11 matches with a slim plus-three goal differential.

There’s no question more is needed from the attackers presently on the roster, but that doesn’t mean manager Louis van Gaal won’t scour Europe for more help in January.

According to Metro, United and Van Gaal could put together a £90 million bid for Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale. The idea might seem far-fetched, considering Bale has finally settled down in Madrid over the last several months and the club is first in La Liga. However Metro insists Los Blancos are “willing” to part with the former Tottenham star as long as they can eventually parlay the move into a deal for Chelsea’s Eden Hazard.

Essentially that puts United’s chances of landing Bale, who’s scored 20 goals in 35 appearances for Madrid and netted 42 goals over six years with Spurs, in the hands of Blues manager Jose Mourinho. That fact alone means United will need several contingency plans this winter.

One other scoring option is rising star and Benfica forward Talisca, according to Daily Star. So far the 20-year-old has scored nine goals in 10 matches for the Portuguese side, just the type of electric scoring Van Gaal’s side needs.

Yet Benfica placed a £35 million buyout clause in Talisca’s contract, and to boot Chelsea and Arsenal are also intrigued. The latter evidently has the early advantage, but the Star also reports that Benfica are hoping to increase the buyout fee to £50 million, which could force the Gunners out of the bidding.

Van Gaal could also spruce up his midfield by adding Sporting Lisbon defensive midfielder William Carvalho. The Star reports that United, Chelsea and Arsenal are all hoping to land the 22-year-old, who is apparently for sale to the highest bidder.

Similar to Talisca, Carvalho has a steep £37 million buyout clause, but United might be willing to fork the fee over. Carvalho’s presence could be enough to allow Di Maria to focus solely on the attack, and thus open lanes for Falcao and Wayne Rooney to operate.