While Louis van Gaal has quashed suggestions Manchester United will spend big in January, latest reports link the Red Devils to a string of high-profile defenders who the club will try and secure deals for next summer instead.
Long-term target Mats Hummels of Borussia Dortmund, Athletic Bilbao’s Aymeric Laporte and Atletico Madrid centre-back Diego Godin all feature on the proposed list.
As current first-choice defenders at their respective clubs the investment required could top the £100m mark.
Nevertheless, having been knocked off their perch at the top of the English game since Sir Alex Ferguson finally called time on his illustrious reign; the Old Trafford board have concluded that heavy spending is inevitable.
New manager Van Gaal is making a good fist of working with the hand which has been dealt him, but due to missing out on transfer targets this summer, and a constant stream of injuries, this United side is still some way off title challengers.
The promotion of youth team players Paddy McNair and Tyler Blackett to regular starters is indicative of the dearth of world class personnel at the back.
Although 1/3 shots United are currently on course to break back into the Champions League berths, where they currently sit fourth ahead of their Monday night visit to St Mary’s.
Chelsea’s 11-point lead at the summit will not be bridged this season in light of present defensive frailties, where only the heroics of goalkeeper David de Gea have kept the winning streak going in recent weeks.
Patience will be key for United’s Dutch coach as January invariably means players come at a premium, though with the backing of the board the summer overhaul could be the catalyst for another tilt at the title.
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