Guillermo Varela
Kyle Walker-Peters of Tottenham Hotspur U21 takes on Guillermo Varela (L) of Manchester United U21 during the Barclays U21 Premier League match between Manchester United U21 and Tottenham Hotspur U21 at Leigh Sports Village on 4 January 2016 in Leigh, Greater Manchester Getty

Manchester United have agreed a deal in principle to loan defender Guillermo Varela to Genoa in the January transfer window, but the move has fallen through after Louis van Gaal's insistence on keeping the player at the club until the summer. The deal has now been postponed pending a decision by Van Gaal, whose future at the club is currently under scrutiny after United's 1-0 loss to Southampton at Old Trafford.

Italian Publication TuttoMercatoWeb reports that a loan deal worth €600,000 (£458,674, $653,370) has been agreed between the two clubs, with the player's agent having already met officials in Genoa to conclude a transfer. The terms of the deal are set but Van Gaal's obduracy has thrown a spanner in the works, which is currently in the process of being sorted out by the player's agent.

Van Gaal's situation is likely to change should the Red Devils be able to sign a full-back in January, given their injury crisis in that position. Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo, Antonio Valencia, Phil Jones and Ashley Young are all out of contention and letting Varela leave would mean that they are seriously under-stocked in that region.

Matteo Darmian also sustained an injury against Southampton, but the defender took to Twitter to alleviate fears over his absence, stating that he is "fine" and will be back soon. The former Barcelona manager confirmed that he is in the market to sign a full-back, however, he is yet to make any headway in that department.

The former Barcelona manager is under immense pressure given his team's performance in the league, currently five points adrift of fourth placed Tottenham and 10 points behind Leicester City at the top of the table. Inconsistency has been the crux of their problem thus far, with an impressive victory over Liverpool at Anfield followed by another setback against Southampton in the league.

Jose Mourinho has been tipped to be the next manager at Old Trafford, but his agent Jorge Mendes has rubbished talks over any approach. The Portuguese manager is currently out of work after being relieved of his services at Stamford Bridge in December following a series of underwhelming results.