A lack of creativity has Ole Gunnar Solskjaer now prioritising an attacking midfielder such as Jack Grealish or James Maddison this month – but the Manchester United manager remains conscious of the difficulty of getting the right player mid-season.
The Independent has also been told that the injury to Scott McTominay and ongoing issues with Paul Pogba have influenced strategy, and that a previous willingness to wait until the summer for any signings has softened. The nature of the display against Arsenal, where United again looked so unimaginative in a 2-0 defeat, has further influenced that.
Solskjaer had wanted an attacking midfielder for the summer anyway, but there is a realisation that has become even more pressing. Aston Villa’s Grealish and Maddison of Leicester are the top choices.
The club may again investigate the availability of Christian Eriksen, who is out of contract at Tottenham Hotspur in the summer, but his preference is to go abroad.
The advisors of Sporting’s Bruno Fernandes are meanwhile once more hopeful of bringing the attacker to England, but Solskjaer has been cool on that option since first being approached about it in the summer.
The Norwegian had previously been confident they could achieve top four this season without any new signings, but that is under consideration, and there will be more meetings at the club over the next week.
“Of course it is playing on our decision making when we have two players out – Paul for a month and Scott for two,” Solskjaer said after the defeat at the Emirates.
“That will give us less options and we have loads of games and important games, but still it has to be right and that is the big point.
“If it’s available and if it’s possible we will do something, definitely. We are looking at one or two.”
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