Manchester United turn their on-pitch attentions back to the Premier League this week, while off-pitch it’s still a case of trying to find the right candidates to strengthen the team during the January transfer window.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side came through the FA Cup third round with a narrow victory over Championship side Watford, after several changes to the line-up. The manager was pleased to get through the tie, but less than impressed with the overall performance from a few of those hoping to break into the regular team.
That follows on from Solskjaer also bemoaning a lack of quality after another cup game, the Carabao Cup semi-final defeat to Manchester City, though he has still said that one of the more high-profile members of the sidelined squad at present, in Donny van de Beek, can expect to get more chances in future.
Former United defender Rio Ferdinand feels those minutes on the pitch may need to come sooner rather than later, with the former Ajax attacking midfielder expecting to have been involved far more before now and Ferdinand feeling he may look elsewhere if he doesn’t see minutes on the pitch.
As such, United could be looking to strengthen this window in different areas of the pitch, having completed the signing of Amad Diallo already, while players such as Sergio Romero and Phil Jones are the likely departures.
Meanwhile, Solskjaer must juggle his squad once more for the Tuesday night game against Burnley, with three players likely to be injury doubts for the game including Paul Pogba. A draw or win for United in that game will send them top of the Premier League table ahead of Liverpool, who they face in their following fixture at Anfield.
We will have all the latest Manchester United news, rumours and gossip – on both incomings and outgoings – throughout the day.
Pogba and Bailly will be assessed again before trip to Turf Moor
RAMOS URGED TO STAY AT REAL MADRID AMID UNITED LINKS
Former Real Madrid forward Jorge Valdano has insisted it would be a "mistake" if Sergio Ramos were to leave the club.
The 34-year-old defender has been linked with a move to Old Trafford, with his contract set to expire in the summer.
“He will end up renewing with Real Madrid," Valdano told Spanish outlet El Transistor. "It would be a mistake on both sides if it were not done.
“The same thing happened with Cristiano. Real Madrid was left without the Champions League and Cristiano without the Ballon d’Or.”
EFL CLUBS MONITORING LEVITT
Portsmouth and QPR are interested in signing United youngster Dylan Levitt on loan.
The 20-year-old was recalled from a spell at League One side Charlton earlier this month.
Jadon Sancho has acknowledged a “difficult” start to the 2020/21 season, but the Borussia Dortmund forward is confident on hitting top form again.
The England international was linked with a summer move away from the Bundesliga, with Manchester United in particular conducting a very public, and ultimately unsuccessful, attempt to sign him.
The 20-year-old wide forward has won 18 caps for England, scoring three goals so far
CAICEDO SET FOR PREMIER LEAGUE MOVE
Moises Caicedo, having been heavily linked with a move to Manchester United, looks to be heading elsewhere in the Premier League.
Independiente Del Valle general manager Santiago Morales has confirmed that a deal is done, and an announcement will be made later this week. Brighton are the club believed to have won the race for the 18-year-old.
“Everything is closed with a Premier League club for Moisés Caicedo, today he’s getting his work visa and between Wednesday-Thursday we announce it,” Morales told La Red.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer does not expect Manchester United to make any more signings during the January transfer window, despite several first-team players potentially leaving Old Trafford this month.
United finalised £19m deal for teenage winger Diallo
UNITED DEFENDER JOINS CARPI
Manchester United defender Luca Ercolani has completed a move to Italian third-tier side Carpi FC.
The 21-year-old spent five years in United's academy but didn't manage the step up to the first team.
SOLSKJAER HAILS SUMMER SIGNING AHEAD OF FIRST-TEAM RETURN
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has praised Edinson Cavani's application in training ahead of the striker's return this weekend.
Cavani, signed on a free transfer from PSG in the summer, has missed his side's last three games through suspension.
“Edinson has trained well since he’s been banned,” said Solskjaer. “He’s had a couple of days off as well – you can’t train too much. He’s ready to go. He’s a different option. He’s a different type of striker to Mason [Greenwood], Anthony [Martial] and Marcus [Rashford].
“I’m glad to have him back and that’s why we brought him in. He’s contributed really well so far. I’m sure he’ll be really important for us between now and the end of the season."
UNITED SCOUT TWO TARGETS
VAN DE BEEK WANTS TO STAY AT UNITED
Donny van de Beek is intent on staying at Manchester United and proving himself to manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, according to Het Parool.
Rumours of discontent over a lack of game time have been circulating, with the Dutchman restricted mostly to substitute appearances since his summer move from Ajax.
But he is reportedly not willing to leave on loan because it will give the impression he is "giving up".
Van de Beek is, according to Het Parool, bored of his lack of involvement but happy in Manchester and aware of the need for patience.
Join our commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies