Manchester United continue blow hot and cold in the Premier League despite sitting in fifth-place and five points off of the final Champions League spot. The Red Devils are looking to upgrade the team to fight for that final Champions League place as well as improve the starting XI overall this January.
Two players have been linked with Manchester United on Wednesday ahead of their FA Cup third-round replay against Wolverhampton Wanderers at Old Trafford. The two areas that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is looking to upgrade is central defence and central midfield.
Centre-back and midfield help may be on the way
The manager looks to be happy with the team’s attack as Marcus Rashford has bagged a career-high 14 Premier League goals. With Mason Greenwood showing signs of a future star, the Red Devils will gladly add players elsewhere in the transfer window.
Rashford has bagged 134 Fantasy Premier League points this season. He is Manchester United’s top FPL performer and possesses the fourth-best points total in all of fantasy football.
Manchester United are still interested in signing Sporting Lisbon’s Bruno Fernandes. Despite failing previously to add the midfielder, he is once again on the Red Devils’ radar. Fernandes has bagged eight goals and seven assists in 15 appearances in the far easier Portuguese Liga NOS this season.
Fernandes has played well in front of goal in both the domestic Portuguese league and the Europa League. In the latter competition, he has tallied five goals and three assists.
Centre-back is also a position Solskjaer wants to address. Manchester United are looking for a regular defensive partner for Harry Maguire, who joined the club last the summer. Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly is on the club’s radar with one rumour suggesting a deal has been reached for £64 million.
Koulibaly has been long linked with a move to Old Trafford. Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal have also been linked to the Senegal international. Napoli sacked coach Carlo Ancelotti earlier this season and a rebuild of the first-team squad could be on the agenda in Naples.
The Mirror does indicate the deal won’t go through until June as the size of the deal makes it a summertime transfer. Koulibaly’s Napoli contract runs until 2023. The centre-back has played 20 times in all competitions for Napoli but has missed the last three Serie A fixtures due to a muscle injury.
Manchester United defensive proficiency in FPL
Manchester United centre-backs Victor Lindelof and Maguire have been quite proficient in FPL this term. Lindelof is fifth in FPL points for the Red Devils with a total of 57. Maguire has collected 54 FPL points giving fantasy managers a strong base. Lindelof is still 61 points off of FPL’s top defender Trent Alexander-Arnold.
If Koulibaly arrived this month, Lindelof’s playing time next to Maguire would surely be reduced. However, if Koulibaly doesn’t arrive until the summer, Lindelof will continue on as the first-choice partner for Maguire.
The points totals for both Lindelof and Maguire does show one damning aspect of the Manchester United team. Players are not excelling at their individual positions other than Rashford. David De Gea, Lindelof, and Maguire are in the team’s top seven points totals for FPL. The attacking players have not thrived at Old Trafford under Solskjaer. Only one midfielder, Scott McTominay, sits in the top six in FPL points for the Red Devils.
Will Manchester United upgrade the squad this January? The month is half over, but anything can happen.