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The areas in which Man Utd need to improve this month
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Dan Fitch
Manchester United could consider a change in manager to start the new year
Manchester United could consider a change in manager to start the new year

Major change could finally be coming to Manchester United. 

Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS have struck a deal that has seen them acquire 25% of the club and take over football operations. 

Ahead of United's FA Cup trip to Wigan, we take a look at the areas where the Red Devils are likely to make changes this month. 

Clear the deadwood

United have had a longstanding problem with getting rid of players that have become surplus to requirements. 

Their penchant for giving out top-level wages means that their squad members are naturally reluctant to leave should it mean taking a pay cut. 

Changing that culture will take time but there are signs that the bloated playing staff is being cut back. 

In the last week, Donny van de Beek has gone on loan to Eintracht Frankfurt and Sergio Reguilon returned to Tottenham. 

Jadon Sancho looks to be nearing a move back to Borussia Dortmund and other players could follow him out of the door of Old Trafford before the end of the month. 

Anthony Martial's contract will expire in the summer, while Raphael Varane and Casemiro could leave if a suitable offer comes in. All are among United's biggest earners. 

New additions

Erik ten Hag is struggling at Manchester United
Erik ten Hag is struggling at Manchester United

Going into the January window, United are in the unfortunate position of probably having to sell before they can buy new players. 

Financial Fair Play restrictions could mean that they are limited to making loan signings this month, with major sales looking unlikely. 

Last January, they added to their squad with short-term solutions, bringing in Jack Butland, Marcel Sabitzer and Wout Weghorst. 

A similar strategy could be adopted again for the right player, but there is also the possibility of a longer-term approach by making loan signings with an option or obligation to buy in the summer. 

Sofyan Amrabat arrived in such a deal and it looks to be the only way to solve any of the issues in the squad within the next month. 

There is hardly a role on the pitch where United would not benefit from some kind of reinforcement but a new striker would be of most benefit right now. 

At various points, Erik ten Hag has played Rasmus Hojlund, Martial and Marcus Rashford in the position and they have scored just five Premier League goals between them. 

Fresh leadership

Manchester United have lost half of their games this season
Manchester United have lost half of their games this season

One of the issues regarding United recruiting new players over the next month is the speculation regarding Ten Hag's future. 

Despite a promising first season in which the Dutch coach delivered Champions League qualification and won the Carabao Cup, things have turned sour this campaign. 

United have lost 14 of their 28 matches across all competitions. Such a record would put the manager of any top club under pressure. 

Defeat at Wigan in the FA Cup would surely make Ten Hag's position untenable, as might a convincing home loss when the Red Devils host Spurs later this month. 

The club essentially has new owners from a football perspective even if the Glazer family still hold a majority ownership. 

Such investment normally results in the decision-makers wanting to appoint their own manager before long. 

It will be interesting to see whether INEOS consider January the time to pull the trigger or deem it more sensible to wait until the summer.


Manchester UnitedPremier LeagueFA CupMarcus RashfordAnthony MartialRasmus HoejlundCasemiroRaphael VaraneJadon SanchoSofyan Amrabat
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