We know that Manchester United are struggling for goals this season and if they are to sign a player it will probably be a striker/winger/attacking midfielder. United’s displays at the back have been so good (and the attack so bad) that they have become notorious for 0-0 draws and every United game looks destined to end that way (and more often than not it does) but recent injuries to Ashley Young and Matteo Darmian coupled with the long-term absentees Phil Jones, Antonio Valencia and Luke Shaw means that United now find themselves struggling at the back as well.

United’s only fit senior defender is Chris Smalling while midfielder Daley Blind has been forced to deputise at centre back for the injured Phil Jones. Ashley Young and Matteo Darmian had settled well into the full back role but now they too find themselves on the side-lines which means that Van Gaal only has inexperienced youngsters at his disposal.

Paddy McNair, Cameron Borthwick-Jackson and Guillermo Varela have played less than 50 matches between them and Manchester United desperately need a new defender. To make things easier for Van Gaal we have drawn up a list of 3 defenders that Manchester United could sign this window:

  1. Ashley Cole: The ex- Chelsea and Arsenal left-back has terminated his contract with Serie A side Roma and is available on a free transfer. Ashley Cole has loads of Premier League experience and could do a job at United for the remainder of the season at least. It is better to play a 35 year old ex-England international at left-back than a 19 year old kid with absolutely no Premier League experience.
  2. Ricardo Rodriguez (Wolfsburg): Manchester United may not get him on a free but they could be signing one of the best defenders in the Bundesliga if they snap him up from their Champions League opponents this season, Wolfsburg. Rodriguez is also being tracked by top European clubs including Real Madrid and would cost United as much as €25million.
  3. Nemanja Vidic: The former Manchester United legend is also available on a free after his contract with Inter Milan was terminated and having been with United for 8 seasons Vidic does know a thing or two about the club. Vidic was a rock at the back for the Red Devils and a 6 month return to his former club wouldn’t be such a bad idea.

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