United create midfield shortlist to change fortunes

Posted by ESPN staff

Can Manchester United find the solution to their woes in the January transfer market? That is the question posed by a report in the Daily Mail.

Having suffered a shocking run of form of late, United must respond soon if they are to rescue their season -- which starts with finishing in the top four to secure a Champions League spot next season. There is little doubt the key area of improvement required lies in midfield, where United failed to land any of their big targets last summer -- Marouane Fellaini hardly counts.

In order of likelihood, United's shortlist of midfield targets are said to be: Remy Cabella from Montpellier, Newcastle United's Yohan Cabaye, Koke of Atletico Madrid and Everton Ribeiro, who has impressed in Brazil with Cruzeiro. Other, rather more fanciful targets, include: Cesc Fabregas, Ilkay Gondogan, Luka Modric, Ander Herrera, Wesley Sniejder and Kevin Strootman.

Another club with a particular area in need of strengthening is Chelsea. The Blues' defence has leaked six goals in its past two Premier League games, and Jose Mourinho has begun his search for reinforcements come January.

The Daily Mirror states Saint-Etienne's 19-year-old defender Kurt Zouma will be the subject of a 10 million pound bid from Chelsea in the coming weeks. It is understood Manchester City are also interested in Zouma, who is currently serving a 10-match ban for a horror tackle.

Finally, Everton are preparing for the imminent exit of Nikica Jelavic, with the Daily Mirror claiming Iceland's Alfred Finnbogason is top of Roberto Martinez's wishlist. The Heerenveen is expected to be sold to the Merseyside club for around two million pounds, with Martinez sending his scouts to watch the striker at the weekend.

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