After failing in several attempts to lure a midfielder from La Liga to Manchester in the summer, the Red Devils might attempt a winter swoop on Valencia to land Ever Banega.
The Argentine is keen to leave Los Che and should they pursue him Manchester United will be confident of beating Southampton, who are also rumoured to be interested, to his signature.
After an inauspicious start to the season the defending champions are 8/1 to win the Premier League.
Banega averages 2.2 key passes per game for Valencia, the sixth best record in La Liga and more than any United player.
Despite targeting several top class midfielders over the summer, United failed to sign someone capable of linking their defence with their attack, and they have relied on Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie to fashion chances for themselves.
Michael Carrick is a fine deep-lying playmaker, and Marouane Fellaini an effective stopper when on form, but bringing Banega’s creativity into their midfield would make David Moyes’ side a far more dangerous proposition.
The Argentine is not short of tenacity either, putting in 2.8 tackles per game, again a tally no Red Devil player can match.
Far from being some kind of fancy-dan frill merchant, Banega relishes the dirty work in the centre of the park.
That has its downsides, as he has collected five bookings already this term, but having a player who combines a steely edge with the creative spark can give United’s midfield the balance it has lacked this campaign.
After the fluffed attempts to sign players in the summer, Banega would be a relatively uncomplicated deal for United to pull off.
The Red Devils’ misery in the summer transfer market came about due to some poor target selection, trying to deal with clubs who were unwilling to sell like Athletic Bilbao or picking out players who did want to leave, like Cesc Fabregas.
According to his agent Banega is keen to depart Valencia, who demonstrated their willingness to cash in on players by selling Roberto Soldado in the summer.
The Argentine’s buy-out clause of around £26m is not cheap, but represents an affordable fee that United will know they can get their man for, ensuring they do not run out of time again.