Manchester United’s hand may be forced this transfer window. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer initially downplayed the sort of business the Red Devils would do in January, even adding the caveat that no fresh purchase occurring was a real possibility.
However, since then two major factors have changed the landscape considerably. Firstly, the club’s stock has fallen quite a bit, to the point that there are big questions being raised about Solskjaer’s efficacy as a gaffer. Secondly, a string of injuries have systematically paralyzed key areas in the side’s lineup.
As of recent, a worrying injury to Harry Maguire has meant that United are severely lacking in fit centre-backs. Reports had even suggested that the side would be on the lookout for a potential loan move in the window.
However, those plans may have to be tweaked a bit in light of certain allegations.
According to Corriere Dello Sport, Kalidou Koulibaly could be on Napoli’s sale list due to certain fallouts with the Serie A side’s hierarchy.
As such, United, who have been ardent pursuers of the centre-back earlier, to the point of considering a massive world-record move for the Senegalese star, could be in a position to reignite their interests.
The report added that while Napoli were willing to sell the 28-year-old defender, the massive pricetag of past sagas would remain a feature this time around too.
The summer window had seen the Mancunian giants invest heavily in defensive positions, with Harry Maguire’s arrival being a world-record one and Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s acquisition a likewise sizable transfer.
Thus, spending big once again in the winter may raise some eyebrows, although the plight of the club may yet justify such a splurge.
What fans are likely to be critical about is the actual effect of such big-money moves. Despite the spending, cleansheets have been a rarity at Old Trafford.