United fans’ hopes of some transfer reinforcements don’t look likely to come to fruition. Director of Football John Murtough’s recent comments to the United Fans forum suggest there will be little to no business done at Old Trafford in January.

Murtough told the forum, ‘Looking ahead to the January transfer window, we are not expecting it to be particularly busy” and “We’ve always been consistent in saying that we do not see January as the optimal time to do business”. 

This approach is likely related to the uncertainty over the club’s future ownership. It’s been widely reported that Jim Ratcliffe is set to take a stake from the Glazers, but the details and confirmation of the deal keep being delayed.

Murtough did make some more positive comments. He said, “There will always be the possibility of deals around the edges of the squad, particularly in terms of finding opportunities for players who are not playing as much football as they would like.”

That statement suggests United will be focused on Loan deals this January. Former Chelsea man Timo Werner is one player linked with a loan switch. The German has struggled for game time since returning to the Bundesliga. United fans will be sceptical due to his poor performances in the Premier League, but attacking reinforcements are necessary if United are going to turn this season around.

French centre-back Jean-Clair Todibo is another player rumoured to be a target of United’s recruitment staff. The young defender plays for Nice, the French club Jim Ratcliffe’s INEOS Group owns. This potential ownership connection could facilitate a deal that would otherwise be beyond United’s budget.

Departures are another factor that will affect any potential incomings. Rumours have linked several of the squad’s most prominent names with moves away. Jadon Sancho is the most obvious. If United can use the want-away winger to generate money, they could bring in a higher calibre of player. According to the most significant bookmakers, Dortmund is the most likely landing spot for the 23-year-old.

United’s season has been disappointing so far, but the draw at Anfield demonstrated that most of the squad is still behind Erik ten Hag. There’s still a distinct possibility United can qualify for European football, but getting the January recruitment correct will be vital to doing so.