Manchester United’s performances this season have done little to dispel the accusations that the gaping hole left by Paul Scholes’ departure is yet to be filled.
Fergie’s men still sit in second place in the Premier League, only two points behind leaders and local rivals Manchester City, but they have uncharacteristically crashed out of Europe and failed to yet produce the sort of emphatic and efficient performances we have grown accustomed to.
With Darren Fletcher now sidelined for an extended period, and Anderson and Tom Cleverley still nursing injuries, Ryan Giggs, aged 38, has shined brightest in the middle of the park so far this season.
In light of this, and with thoughts of building towards the future, Everton midfield general Jack Rodwell appears to have been identified as Ferguson’s top target this January.
The bustling 20-year-old would fit in with the likes of Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Danny Welbeck and Cleverley as the legendary manager aims to once again build his squad upon a foundation of outstanding young homegrown talent.
Everton’s financial problems have been well documented, and manager David Moyes, who wasn’t allowed a single penny to spend in the summer, could be tempted to cash in on one of his star assets for a fee in the region of £20million.
Rodwell himself would hope to not be lost in the shuffle as he battles for a place in the senior England squad for Euro 2012, and he may feel that a high-profile switch to Old Trafford could aid his chances of appearing in Poland and Ukraine.
With Ferguson’s utilisation of Phil Jones in a midfield role raising plenty of eyebrows since his summer transfer, the arrival of Rodwell would allow Jones to revert to his favoured centre half position, further lending weight to the suggestions he will swap Goodison Park fro Old Trafford.