Manchester United: The First January Signing?

If for no other reason than to give Manchester United a psychological boost, after a terrible first half to the season, David Moyes surely needs to spend this January.

After the summer transfer debacle the newish Manchester United manager is keeping his cards close to his chest on signings and when asked if the much mooted Fabio Coentrao deal was close to completion Moyes said “No, that’s not true.”

Still, it’s obvious that Manchester will need a left-back to succeed the brilliant but ageing Patrice Evra – a player who increasingly gets caught out on the counter – and The Guardian this week went as far as to say a deal had been agreed with the player.

Coentrão has agreed a deal to join United but the champions may miss out on the left-back for a second consecutive window as Real do not want to sell any players during January. “No players are leaving and we’re not going to sign anyone,” said Carlo Ancelotti, the Real manager, on Sunday. “The window is closed for us.”

Despite the public stance, there remains hope that Jorge Mendes, Coentrão’s agent, will be able to persuade Real to sell the 25-year-old, who has made only four starts in La Liga this season and was reportedly upset when Moyes failed to sign him in the summer transfer window.

This story clearly has legs, and a deal could well be done, particularly if the player wants a move. We still feel that Luke Shaw would prove to be a better investment. But David Moyes perhaps feels that he needs a mature player to immediately improve the team, rather than one who may take time to bed in.

But let’s be clear – Coentrao is a fantastic footballer. A solid and capable defender but he’s also a real buccaneer who loves to get forward and take on opposition defences. Technically he’s as good as many a top level winger. He’s got a great final ball and he has all the qualities to succeed at Manchester United.

So, while Luke Shaw may well become a better player than Coentrao, The Portuguese would represent a solid bit of business for David Moyes and a struggling Manchester United team.

We will keep you posted on developments. Meantime, let’s see the lad in action.

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