Manchester United have distanced themselves from speculation regarding an imminent move for Paris Saint-Germain star Edinson Cavani and Lazio midfielder Felipe Anderson. The Red Devils are yet to make an addition during the ongoing January transfer window.
According to the Manchester Evening News, the 20-time English champions are set for a quiet January transfer window unless their top targets become available. Louis van Gaal has admitted that a full-back is top of his priority list owing to injuries to Luke Shaw, Antonio Valencia, Marcos Rojo and Ashley Young. The last of the quartet has been used at left-back and right-back this season.
"I have started with Valencia, Shaw, Rojo, Darmian and Young, sometimes, and they are all injured – only Darmian is now back. So, I need full-backs and you have seen how I have used youngsters like Borthwick-Jackson and Varela, who are doing great, but the level of Manchester United is high," Van Gaal said, as quoted by United's official site.
United have been heavily linked with a move for Cavani and Anderson during the winter window, with ESPN FC reporting that the club were preparing an official approach for the Uruguayan forward. The report, however, claims that the interest is unfounded due to the financial outlay it will require midway through the season.
According to the Mirror, another reason for the United hierarchy's reluctance to spend huge sums on transfer fees in January is the uncertainty surrounding the Dutch manager's future at the club. It is believed that the former Bayern Munich manager could walk away from Old Trafford at the end of the current campaign, 12 months prior to the expiry of his contract.
Van Gaal's team have struggled in both defence and attack this campaign, mainly the latter with Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial struggling for goals. The manager has admitted that he needs more speed and creativity in the final third, but is yet to make a move to improve their chances to put up a fight for the Premier League title in the second half of the season. United are currently in fifth place, seven points behind leaders Arsenal and two points behind Tottenham, who occupy the final Champions League qualification spot.