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Two areas Manchester United must bolster in the January transfer window

Manchester United are gearing up for the winter transfer window which starts on January 1.

The Red Devils have struggled massively this season, crashing out of the Champions League and the League Cup.

They are sixth in the Premier League table and face a daunting task to finish in the top four.

January offers Erik ten Hag a chance to bolster the United squad to earn a respectable finish to the season.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s INEOS has acquired a 25 percent stake in the club, pending approval from the Premier League, which could take four to six weeks.

The new owners would want to avoid drawing a blank in their first transfer window.

We look at what Man United need most in the upcoming window.

Defender

Injuries have caused major headaches to Ten Hag. The Dutchman has deployed ten different centre-back pairings at the back due to the casualties this campaign.

They have been heavily linked with OGC Nice centre-back Jean-Clair Todibo. Signing the 23-year-old looks realistic because Ratcliffe is the majority shareholder of the French outfit.

He could be the long-term replacement for Raphael Varane, who finds it difficult to play three consecutive games.

Crystal Palace’s Marc Guehi and Barcelona’s Ronald Araujo are other key targets. However, Man United may find it challenging to poach any of them in the middle of the season. 

Striker

Rasmus Hojlund finally broke his Premier League duck by smashing the match-winning goal against Aston Villa.

His deputy, Anthony Martial, has scored once in 13 league appearances.

The Frenchman has been poor all season and is not good enough to be a back-up striker at Man United.

If the budget allows, Ten Hag would love the club to sign another striker who can share the workload with Hojlund. 

Serhou Guirassy has emerged as a January transfer target for the Red Devils. The forward has been in red-hot form for Vfb Stuttgart this season, scoring 17 times in 14 league games.

Sevilla striker Youssef En-Nesyri has also been linked with a move to Old Trafford.

However, signing either will depend on Man United’s transfer budget, considering they are conscious of their Financial Fair Play position.