The four positions Manchester United want to strengthen in January – including defence and Sofyan Amrabat replacement
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Manchester United could be set for a hectic January transfer window, should Jim Ratcliffe complete his purchase of a 25 per cent stake in the club.

The Red Devils have had a tricky start to the season, having been knocked out of the Carabao Cup, while they’re on the brink of being eliminated from the Champions League.

Just when it looked like Man United had turned a corner, they suffered a damaging draw at Galatasaray


Just when it looked like Man United had turned a corner, they suffered a damaging draw at GalatasarayCredit: Getty

There are glaring issues throughout Erik ten Hag’s squad in every position despite a recent resurgence of form in the Premier League.

And despite a £124.5m net spend in the summer, the third highest total in the division.

Some of those recruits are a cause for concern, with The Guardian reporting that both £60million Mason Mount and £8.5m loan signing Sofyan Amrabat could face competition.

The attacking midfield and defensive midfield roles the pair deploy are areas the club are looking to strengthen in January, along with targeting a centre forward and centre back.

Mount, the former Chelsea and England regular is yet to score in his 12 appearances and is no longer a starter, while Amrabat scattering of showings have been so unimpressive that youngster Kobbie Mainoo has recently appeared to have usurped him.

Elsewhere, the club have had huge issues in defence, which was firmly on display in their entertaining 3-3 draw in Turkey on Wednesday night.

With last season’s centre back pairing of Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane either injured or out of form, it’s forced former captain Harry Maguire back into the line-up.

There had been signs of improvement in recent games, with United winning five from six in the Premier League and clambering back to four points from third-place Liverpool.

Amrabat has done little to impress so far


Amrabat has done little to impress so farCredit: Getty
Mount hasn't lived up to his price tag


Mount hasn’t lived up to his price tagCredit: Getty
And their holes in defence were on display on Wednesday night


And their holes in defence were on display on Wednesday nightCredit: Getty

However, conceding three against Galatasaray – meaning they’ve now conceded 14 in five European outings this term – firmly suggests these victories have papered over the cracks.

Manager Erik ten Hag admitted after the match: “We are not defending well enough, we are leading 3-1 and you can’t afford such mistakes because it makes a difference.”

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Up front they’re not faring much better, with Marcus Rashford the only forward with more than a single goal domestically.

Rasmus Hojlund, who joined on a big-money £72m deal, has flown out of the blocks in Europe with a club record five goals in as many games, but in the league he’s yet to make a contribution.

That has seen recent reports linking the club with out-of-favour Leipzig striker Timo Werner who had plenty of issues in front of goal at Chelsea, but still remains a counter-attacking threat.

The Guardian claims that much of the planning depends on Ratcliffe’s investment, which is yet to come to fruition despite months of speculation that the 25 per cent purchase is imminent.

The club also has to contend with financial fair play concerns, having been unable to shift Maguire and Scott McTominay during the summer when both were identified as potential money-raising sales.

And an exit from Europe’s premier club competition will only make life harder for the 13-time Premier League winners.

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