Manchester United have blown hot and cold in the Premier League this season. Although they went winless in their first three home league games in a season for the first time in almost five decades, the Red Devils' away form has been nothing short of a revelation.
The Old Trafford club have won all six league games on the road in 2020-21. Largely courtesy of their impressive away form, Manchester United are within five points of league leaders Liverpool, albeit with a game in hand.
However, Manchester United's indifferent form at home in the Premier League means that they aren't the team to beat in the competition yet. Their home form may be improving following their 6-2 win over Leeds United. Nevertheless, over-reliance on Bruno Fernandes and a leaky defence are some of the issues plaguing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side at the moment.
Five players who could join Manchester United in the January transfer window
Manchester United aren't having a terrible season by any stretch of the imagination, despite a humbling 1-6 defeat at home against Tottenham Hotspur.
However, the third-placed team in the 2020-21 Premier League need to address some problem areas in their roster to sustain an unlikely title challenge. That could mean that Manchester United may rekindle their interest in a few players they failed to land this summer.
On that note, let us have a look at five players who could arrive at Old Trafford in the upcoming January transfer window:
#5 David Alaba
David Alaba has been one of the standout players for Bayern Munich during the German club's near-decade-long domination in the Bundesliga.
The Austrian, who made an impressive transition from left-back to centre-back, has made over 400 appearances in all competitions for the Bavarian giants. During this period, Alaba has produced an impressive 81 goal-contributions while winning two continental trebles and eight consecutive Bundesliga titles, amidst other domestic and continental honours.
One of the finest defenders in the game, Alaba is still only 28 despite spending more than a decade at Bayern Munich. Recently, the Austria international became the quickest player to record 200 Bundesliga wins in the competition's history.
However, despite Alaba being a key player for the German club, he is yet to agree on a contract extension with Bayern Munich. This has alerted some of the top clubs in Europe like Manchester United and Juventus, to name a few.
Recently, the Bundesliga giants announced that they have 'withdrawn' their contract extension offer to Alaba after a long and protracted negotiation between both parties failed to end the stalemate. Bayern Munich president Herbert Hainer said in this regard:
"We told David’s agent during the last meeting that we wanted clarity and an answer by the end of October, because we want to plan for such an important position and personnel. But we didn’t hear anything. Our sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic then contacted the agent, and the answer was that the offer is still unsatisfying and that we should think more. We then decided to take the offer off the table completely. That means there is no longer any offer.”
With Alaba free to open discussions with other clubs in January, Bayern Munich could opt to capitalise on the situation and sell Alaba in the upcoming transfer window to recoup some of their investment on the player rather than wait for the player to leave for free in the summer.
Manchester United are interested in the services of Alaba, as they have sorely lacked a leader in the heart of their defence.
#4 Hakan Calhanoglu
Manchester United are reportedly one of several clubs that are keeping tabs on Hakan Calhanoglu, who has been a key player for AC Milan since his arrival in Italy from the Bundesliga.
Although Manchester United have got the brilliant Bruno Fernandes running the show from midfield, the uncertain future of Paul Pogba at Old Trafford has meant that the club have their eyes on Calhanoglu, who is in the final year of his contract at Milan.
The Turkey international, who can score and create goals aplenty for his teammates, could take the pressure off Fernandes and be an upgrade on the likes of Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard.