Manchester United are keeping tabs on Lazio's creative midfielder Felipe Anderson who has been valued at £35m ($52m) by his club. Louis van Gaal wants to add more pace and creativity to his midfield and the 22-year-old, whom he has been tracking since the summer, has emerged as a prime target to fill that void.
The Daily Mail reports that the Red Devils have also earmarked Sadio Mane as a possible addition in Januarybut are wary of Southampton's inhibition to sell midway through the season, which has forced them to look at other options. The report states that United have already opened talks with the Brazilian creator and will push to get the deal done when the January transfer window opens.
Anderson has scored five goals in the ongoing season and would add some cutting edge to an insipid United line-up that is crying out for some verve up front. The Red Devils have scored only 22 goals this campaign, which is among their lowest tallies since the Premier League era. Their goalless draw against Chelsea was also their eighth game without a win in all competitions, losing four and drawing the rest, taking only a point from their last four games in the league.
The only roadblock to the deal could be Anderson's ineligibility to feature in United's Europa League campaign that restarts in February, but Van Gaal is unlikely to be perturbed by that, with the league currently a much higher priority than progressing in the second tier in Europe. The Red Devils have dropped to sixth in the league table, level on points with Liverpool whom they face in January, but are five behind fourth placed Tottenham, who have managed to go on a consistent run over the festive period.
The transfer window opens on 2 January, ahead of their game against Swansea City at Old Trafford where Van Gaal will be looking for a response after an ostensibly improved performance without reward against Chelsea.