Manchester United are, as a rule, reluctant spenders in the January transfer window. In the past a signing in the winter window seemed pointless as the class of player desired by the club would have been ineligible for Champions League football for the rest of the campaign. The value in the market also isn’t quite the same as it is during the summer, prices inflate to astronomical levels as nobody wishes to lose key players as things move towards the business end. But according to the Manchester Evening News, Jose Mourinho has decided he now wishes to dip his toes into the market and break the norm at Old Trafford. And bolstering his defence is the main aim.
It is believed United were going to revert to type and allow January to pass by with nothing to report on the transfer front. However, plans change in football and three defeats in a row during September has convinced Mourinho to go begging for funds in a bid to sure things up at the back and get his first season at the club back on a positive trajectory. Value is out there somewhere, a hidden gem similar to Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra when they were signed during the same period all those years ago, but where is it to be found?
Bayer Leverkusen are home to two bright young things in Tin Jedvaj and Jonathan Tah. Jedvaj is a Croatian international with four caps to his name at the age of just 20. He started his career in Croatia with Dinamo Zagreb, before moving to Roma in 2013. He impressed in his only season with the Italian side, and this earned him a move to Germany in 2014. He is capable of playing anywhere in the back line, and isn’t shy to contribute at the other end of the pitch (he has three goals in his 41 appearances for Leverkusen thus far). He is regarded as a real prospect, and it is only a matter of time before a bigger club swoops for his services. Tah is a Centre Half by trade. A German international and still just 20-years-old, his formidable physique and string of impressive performances at the heart of the Leverkusen defence have helped his stock rise in world football. Another genuine prospect whose tender age leaves plenty of potential in the future.
Aymeric Laporte is a name United fans may well be familiar with. He has been linked with a move to Old Trafford in windows gone by, and the French Centre Half has only gone from strength to strength at his current club Athletico Bilbao. Not yet capped at senior level, the 22-year-old has now vast experience to his name and is approaching the prime of his career. A former team mate of fan favourite Ander Herrera could also work in United’s favour should they look his way.
Lastly is Marquinhos of Paris Saint-Germain. Another name linked with a move to United previously, the young Brazilian has been a player on the periphery for some time now. He would be a costly purchase, though his name hasn’t been mentioned for a while now, and with the departure of David Luiz in the summer he may be tricky to prize from the grasps of his current employers.
With Antoine Griezmann allegedly top of the list for the summer, Mourinho would be wise to start looking at a boost to his defensive numbers now. All the while keeping in mind that in RoShaun Williams, Axel Tuanzebe and Timothy Fosu-Mensah he is in possession of three dazzling talents at the club already. Whatever happens, the idea of money being spent in January is a novel one and an odd excitement to feel building. All concentration currently though, is on finding form and launching an assault on the top four once again.