6 Transfers Who'd Get Manchester United Back in the Top 4
With the January transfer window disappearing as quickly as it arrived, Manchester United sit within the same predicament they have all season long:
"Who can take this football club forward?"
There is a mass of top players out there in world football, ready to be hunted and have their heads turned.
With talk of David Moyes having £200 million to spend on transfers, thoughts turn towards fantasy football becoming an amazing reality.
Of course, we will never know just how much the Glazers are willing to spend to put the Red Devils back in their accustomed top spot, but which transfers could United make happen by breaking the bank?
Here are six dream deals the champions could construct to take them straight back to the top of the food chain.
So why and how would Manchester United sign Radamel Falcao?
Falcao is the rarest breed of footballer: a marquee signing whose solid gold quality is almost priceless.
When you consider the fee Madrid paid for Ronaldo, a world record at the time, it pales into insignificance when you look at his goal count for the club.
Whatever price it takes to get a player like Falcao, United should pay it. His return on the pitch would far outweigh his cost.
Would it take £80 million? How about £90 million? Who knows. However, if United have a real war chest available for transfers, they need to be going for the players of the very highest quality.
A transfer to a "super club" could turn Falcao's head. As rich as Monaco are, they cannot offer the player the glamour of playing in a United shirt.
If the money is right, Moyes could make this deal happen.
He is 26 years old, about to come into his prime and very much affordable.
There are very few world-class players whom you could purchase at an acceptable price, but Charles Perrin of The Express reports Moyes has turned his attentions to Marek Hamsik, with Napoli willing to listen to offers of above £25 million.
This is well within United's capabilities, and would represent value in the current market.
The Slovakian captain is entering his 10th year as player in Italy, and would be perfect for the Red Devils; he's a footballer with fantastic flair and ability, and with the potential to be an icon for the supporters.
Hamsik hit 11 goals in 38 appearances last season and also created 100 chances, per Squawka.
If Shinji Kagawa has indeed failed as the player who was to link United's midfield and attack, then Hamsik can more than fill this gap.
Creativity is an urgent need for Manchester United.
Kagawa as part exchange to Napoli? One feels the Japanese international would prefer life in Serie A than he currently does in the Premier League.
Hamsik would be a revelation in a United shirt, strutting his stuff at the Theatre of Dreams.
Paul Pogba and Arturo Vidal
With Juventus showing interest in Nani, there is a real possibility United could pull off the biggest double transfer deal in living memory.
Paul Pogba needs no introduction to United fans, and despite his acrimonious departure from Old Trafford, he would be welcomed back in a heartbeat.
If the young Frenchman was to bring Arturo Vidal with him, then all would be forgiven.
Pogba and Vidal have been sensational for Juve, proving to be one of the best central midfield combinations Italy has seen in years.
Like with Falcao, this would be no normally priced transfer. United would have to pay £80-£100 million for the pair, but when you consider the depth of rebuilding United's midfield needs, this would represent some sort of warped value.
The two players would transform United's core from inconsistent and battle scared into a machine ready for war.
With Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie and Adnan Januzaj alongside this pair, United would be unstoppable.
Lars and Sven Bender
If Pogba and Vidal is a stretch too far for the mind to comprehend, then this combination of brotherly love should not be.
Sven Bender of Borrussia Dortmund has previously been on United's radar after he was watched by Sir Alex Ferguson, per The Mail Online.
Would it be unthinkable for Moyes to pair these siblings up together? Their potential price tags would not be a problem for the Glazers, falling well within their estimated budgets.
The German internationals would add a physicality to United's midfield that has been missing for many years. They would have an instantaneous impact in the current United side.
An audacious bid to unite the pair could well be one of the great pieces of business the Premier League has seen in recent memory.
Even Fergie would see this combined transfer swoop as "value."
The lonely Spanish wizard just needs to be loved.
He has gone from every Blues' favourite footballer, to Jose Mourinho's favourite bench warmer just in case Oscar or Eden Hazard need a rest and fancy putting their feet up.
Mata was Chelsea's best player last season, as rated by Squawka, scoring 12 goals in 35 games and creating 95 chances with a 85 percent passing accuracy.
It is this sort of precision and creativity United fans crave.
Mata's Premier League knowledge would also be invaluable to David Moyes, but whether Mourinho would be happy to sell the player to one of his rivals is a separate question.
Paul Brown of The Daily Star reports Chelsea might be tempted by a £27 million bid for the player.
With The Blues still very much interested in Wayne Rooney, do not be surprised if a swap deal happens if the Liverpudlian does not sign a new contract at Old Trafford.
The 20-year-old German international wonderkid has been making huge noises in domestic football since 2011.
Beech reports Draxler has a £35 million release clause in his Schalke contract.
The player shares many of the same attributes as Robin van Persie, and despite currently being out injured, per the Mail Online, he would represent a huge capture for United if they can gazump Arsene Wenger.
Draxler represents the future and the present, and as Beech comments, the player "is on a very similar course to Argentine star Lionel Messi."
Draxler is the type of player United should be breaking the bank for.
When you look at the sell on values of both Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale, a £35 million investment would be a drop in the ocean for the champions of England.
United need a new hero. If Wayne Rooney does not sign a new contract, then Draxler could be the answer in filling his boots.