Manchester United will spend in January after Jose Mourinho re-thinks transfer plans following Bristol City defeat

Juventus’ Alex Sandro, Borussia Dortmund’s Julian Weigl and Tottenham Hotspur’s Danny Rose are all options but will be cup-tied in the last-16 of the Champions League

Miguel Delaney
Chief Football Writer
Saturday 23 December 2017 10:05
Winter transfer window: Ten players looking for a move in January

Manchester United’s EFL Cup defeat to Bristol City has caused Jose Mourinho to re-assess his transfer plans, as he has become more concerned about his squad’s depth.

While it had been the case that the club’s funds would be limited this January, with maybe only a left-back like Alex Sandro targeted, The Independent has been told that the Portuguese is now pushing for more signings.

Mourinho was critical of a largely second-string side after the dramatic defeat at Ashton Gate on Wednesday, albeit without naming players directly, and it is understood he now wants to bolster his options while preferably making sales.

United are open to offers on Matteo Darmian, who has interest from Fenerbahce and Italy, while Luke Shaw’s position is still open to scrutiny.

The change in thinking also goes hand in hand with a slight change in ambition since the defeat to Manchester City in the league. Mourinho had previously felt the title could be possible this year, but there is now naturally a realisation that will require something close to miracle with Pep Guardiola’s side 11 points ahead, so priorities have shifted to the Champions League.

The one issue in the short term is that many of the targets are cup-tied or not quite feasible in January.

All of Juventus' Sandro, Borussia Dortmund’s Julian Weigl and Tottenham Hotspur’s Danny Rose have been registered in the Champions League this season, while there is highly unlikely to be a move for Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil until the summer, when his contract runs out. Lazio’s 22-year-old Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is also on the radar.

At the same time, such signings could still allow Mourinho’s current first-choice starting XI to be fresher for the Champions League, as they also attempt to keep pace with City and ensure they finish in the top four.

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