Manchester United highlight priority January transfer targets

Once the dust begins to settle on what has been a wonderful 2022 FIFA World Cup, packed with intriguing matches and more than a few surprising outcomes, domestic and continental football for the elite European clubs teams. Considered to be something of a slumbering giant, Manchester United will continue strengthen their squad, as head coach Erik ten Hag focuses on securing priority targets in the winter transfer window.

The upcoming transfer period will begin on 1st January 2023, making it possible for Premier League clubs to trade players during the whole month, ahead of this window of opportunity closing on 31st January 2023. This could also prove to be a pivotal timeframe for Manchester United, amidst increased speculation surrounding numerous potential moves, fuelled by their clear need to reinforce key areas of the team.

Wagering on possible transfers has also become popular at leading online bookmakers, many of which offer markets dedicated towards potential deals. However, there can be an element of unpredictability surrounding transfer deals, given the amount of media speculation and rumours. This is before firm bids are made and terms agreed between clubs, along with inevitably complex negotiations over players wages with their agents.

In terms of betting on football, many fans prefer to look at something they consider to be more reliable, using data and statistics to aid their predictions for match outcomes. One such concept is the Poisson Distribution method, which is just one popular football prediction model explained in detail via within the latest SBO guides. This works on the basis of previous results and other key factors, to calculate the probability of certain results between teams.

Clearly there is no such method available for predicting transfers, which is entirely why there is plenty of gossip surrounding Manchester United, as journalists attempt to forecast possible moves by looking at what the team needs. After publicly criticising the club and management during a TV interview, Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo left the Red Devils, termed as having reached a “mutual agreement” for the termination of his contract.

For this reason, many believe that Manchester United will prioritise finding an attacking replacement, although numerous possible options are being linked with being of interest. However, the leading candidate according to the odds at bookmakers is Cody Gakpo, the 23-year-old Netherlands forward, currently contracted to PSV Eindhoven. His performances at the 2022 World Cup have attracted plenty of attention recently.

What’s more, the Old Trafford club reportedly held talks with Gakpo and his club last summer, before prioritising other transfer needs at the time. But now it seems that negotiations between Manchester United and PSV Eindhoven are already underway, plus contact with the player and his representatives is also said to have been maintained. Able to play out wide on the wings or through the middle, Gakpo is valued at more than £50 million by his club.

While signing a proven goalscorer will be vital for Manchester United, reducing the number of goals conceded is just as important, leading to speculation that manager Erik ten Hag would also like to buy another defender in January. Having increased his reputation with powerful displays at the World Cup for South Korea, 26-year-old Kim Min-jae has emerged as a possible target. His form has also been impressive in Serie A with Napoli.

The key problem is that Min-jae only joined the Italian club last summer, joining Napoli from Turkish side Fenerbahce, going on to produce many outstanding performances. Nicknamed ‘The Monster’ due to his towering height and physique, luring him away from the current Serie A leaders would be far from easy, but he does apparently have a release clause in his contract, which means that a bid worth £39 million would have to be accepted.

Of course, there is always the possibility that Manchester United could sign both players, and equally, they could end up getting neither, such is the swiftly fluctuating nature of the January transfer window. This is traditionally the toughest period in which to purchase new players, principally because it falls within the middle of the European football season, which inevitably leads to clubs being reluctant to sell their best players.

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