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Top 5 January transfer targets Manchester United could and should sign

By: Jason Hope Updated 18 Dec 2013 11:25:43

Top 5 January transfer targets Manchester United could and should sign

David Moyes hasn't got off to the best of starts at Manchester United, but that was almost inevitable with the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson, key backroom staff and Chief Executive David Gill who together have more than 50 years experience at the club between them.

The upcoming transfer window is seen by many as Moyes' chance to save Manchester United's season, his chance to bring in those two or three players who could really make the Red Devils tick again. But with a world of talent available to Moyes, who should he go for? Below we'll take a look at the top five transfer targets Moyes and Edward Woodward should be making inquiries about.

Fabio Coentrao - Real Madrid

Fabio Coentrao

United's very public pursuit of Leighton Baines during the summer shows that they are keen to bring in an established left back, and with Patrice Evra fast approaching his 33rd birthday and becoming more of a liability in defence David Moyes will be working hard to bring in a suitable replacement. Baines still looks unlikely to leave Everton which means United could go back in for Real Madrid and Portugal left back Fabio Coentrao. The 25-year-old was close to joining United on loan during the summer but a last-minute deal couldn't be completed, reportedly leaving the player distraught. Coentrao would bring competent defending and astute attacking to the left side of Manchester United's team with the option of moving Coentrao up to an attacking winger.

Ross Barkley - Everton

Ross Barkley

The 20-year-old has been a revelation in the Everton midfield this season and has broken into the England first-team. His direct playing style would make him an ideal addition to United's often fragile midfield. Injuries to Michael Carrick and new signing Marouane Fellaini make the case to sign Barkley even stronger and he is rated as one of the most talented England youngsters since current Red Devil Wayne Rooney.

Cristian Zapata - AC Milan

Cristian Zapata

With Rio Ferdinand and Namanja Vidic coming to the end of their careers and question marks over the capabilities of a Jones and Evans centre back pairing, Moyes should be in the market for a new ready made central defender. AC Milan's Cristian Zapata is exactly that, a ready made tough as nails goal scoring defender who is arguably yet to reach his peak. Valued at around £5.3 million, Zapata could be a master stroke of a signing, similar to when Ferguson signed Vidic.

Everton Ribeiro - Cruzeiro

Everton Ribeiro

Everton Ribeiro was named the Brazilian League's best player last season, ahead of Neymer who is now at Barcelona. That says something about the quality this player possess. The 24-year-old is aware of interest from Manchester United and has been quoted as saying that playing there is “the dream of any player”. Ribeiro would play in the attacking midfield role linking the midfield to the strikers, which is something United has missed as of late. In many respects he is similar to Shinji Kagawa but with the former Borussia Dortmund player being linked with a move away from Old Trafford Ribeiro would be a more than adequate replacement.

Koke - Atletico Madrid

Koke

David Moye's recently went on a scouting mission to Portugal to watch Atletico Madrid starlet Koke compete in the Champions League against Porto. Koke is another player who could strengthen United's midfield, which has often been overrun in the Premier League this season. The 21-year-old is renowned for his passing accuracy and despite his stature, has a substantial physical presence. The Spaniard wouldn't come cheap though with an offer of at least £15 million needed to attract Atletico's attention and with Real Madrid reportedly interested that figure is likely to rise.

 


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