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Manchester United identify six January transfer targets – but club insist they won’t overspend

James Maddison

Manchester United have drawn up a shortlist of six players they will target in the January transfer window, according to reports.

The Red Devils are keen to strengthen their squad in the mid-season market after a disappointing start to the 2019/20 campaign.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side find themselves down in 12th place after eight matches, with just two points separating them from the relegation zone.

United could fall even closer to the bottom three this weekend, when unbeaten league leaders Liverpool travel to Old Trafford.

Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward acknowledges the need for improvement and is prepared to back Solskjaer when they transfer window reopens in January.

United spent more than any other Premier League club in the summer, splashing out £148m on Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James.

However, Alexis Sanchez, Ander Herrera, Chris Smalling and Romelu Lukaku all departed, and there is recognition from the board that more reinforcements are required.

ESPN write that Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic is one of the players under United’s consideration, although family reasons mean it is unlikely that the Croatian will move to Manchester.

Solskjaer is also a big fan of Leicester attacking midfielder James Maddison, who has made an excellent start to the season under Brendan Rodgers.

Aston Villa midfielder John McGinn, Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson and West Ham midfielder Declan Rice are also on United’s wish list, with Solskjaer set to continue his policy of targeting British players.

Lyon and France striker Moussa Dembele is another player who United are keeping tabs on, although the club are aware that the bulk of their recruitment may have to wait until next summer.

And despite being willing to open the cheque book in January, United have warned rival clubs and intermediaries that they will not overspend in a desperate bid to rescue their season.

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