Manchester United: Six potential loan signings to solve their injury crisis in January


Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer must be looking at 2020 with great trepidation.

Having already suffered Premier League defeats to Arsenal and Liverpool in the New Year, the vultures are starting to circle and '#OleOut' is never too far away from Twitter's trending column.

However, for all the just criticisms that can be levelled against Solskjaer, there can be no doubting that injuries have conspired against him in recent weeks. 

Marcus Rashford, the club's top scorer with 19 goals, is the latest casualty after aggravating a stress fracture during the FA Cup replay win over Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Scott McTominay has also been spending time on the treatment table with a knee crock, while Paul Pogba was recently seen on crutches after going under the knife to address a foot problem.

Potential for loan signings

As a result, Solskjaer recently floated the idea that United could make some short-term signings during the January transfer window to tide them over until the end of the season.

“The permanent signings we’re looking at, those targets are not going to change because we’ve got two or three players injured for the next few months," the United boss explained.

“We could look at some short-term deals that will take us up to the summer. But that might not be the case.”


Six possible arrivals

So, that got the team at talkSPORT wondering who United could poach on loan over the next month and they drew up six names that could be exciting propositions in attack or midfield.

1. Olivier Giroud

Giroud hasn't played for Chelsea since November, falling behind Tammy Abraham in the pecking order, and could seek pastures new to bolster his chances of making France's Euro 2020 squad.

United could do much worse than signing a forward that would hold up the ball for Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood, although they would face competition from Inter Milan to sign him.


2. Edinson Cavani

The Paris Saint-Germain forward is out of contract in the summer and United are one of the leading candidates for his signature after a move to Atletico Madrid seems to have stalled.

Cavani has a proven track record in Europe's top leagues with over 300 goals and could chip in with some crucial strikes by ruffling defensive feathers with his physicality in the Premier League.


3. Luka Jovic

Despite a fantastic 2018/19 season with Eintracht Frankfrut, Jovic's move to Real Madrid has been an unmitigated disaster and The Sun are reporting that he could be allowed to leave on loan.

United could be the perfect employers for the Serbian on the assumption he produces the kind of form he displayed in Germany as opposed to Spain.

Real Madrid CF v CA Osasuna  - La Liga

4. Gareth Bale

It just wouldn't be a transfer window if Bale wasn't linked with United and a move seems more likely than ever when you consider how disenchanted Real have become with their Welsh superstar.

Zinedine Zidane has shown little enthusiasm to keep Bale around at the Bernabeu and a brief spell with United could both unlock Greenwood as well as tee him up for a bigger summer move.


5. Ivan Rakitic

Another classic United rumour. Rakitic has been on the slide for a few seasons now, but he's still capable of moments of inspiration that many of the Red Devils' midfielders simply aren't.

However, Quique Setien’s decision to play the Croatian during his first game in charge could mark a change in fortunes this season and end any proposition of a loan departure in the days to come.


6. Arturo Vidal

With reports that Vidal has sued his club for unpaid bonuses last year, it's fair to say the relationship between player and club has soured. 

New manager Setien is believed to be considering Vidal as part of his plans, but reduced game-time after the arrival of Frenkie de Jong could spark the latest high-profile move of his career to United.


GIVEMESPORT's Kobe Tong says

I'm becoming increasingly confident that Solskjaer is starting to feel the pressure at Old Trafford.

While there's no guarantee that he will indeed make a loan purchase, some of the names floating around would surely be a step backwards for an apparent long-term, youth-focused regime.

Shouldn't this be an opportunity for Solskjaer to invest even more in his youngsters? 

Besides, we're only talking about six months of a season that already seems to have escaped them and Greenwood in particular appears the obvious candidate to come in for Rashford.


But if we are assuming that Solskjaer's going in for a compulsive signing, then only two of the names make sense to me: Cavani and Vidal.

Only Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have scored more goals in Europe's top five leagues than Cavani since he made his debut, so snapping up the PSG forward seems an absolute no-brainer.

As for Vidal, United can do with all the mettle they can find in their midfield and the combative Barcelona man would mark a dramatic improvement upon Andreas Pereira.

Know one thing, though: the more Solskjaer dips into the loan market, the more you can be certain that he's feeling insecure about his future at Old Trafford.