Manchester United needs to resolve the situation surrounding Harry Maguire and Lisandro Martinez before commencing their January transfer plans
Manchester United are awaiting clarification on the future of Harry Maguire and Lisandro Martinez before making transfer decisions in January. United manager Erik ten Hag wants to strengthen the defence in the 2024 transfer windows.
United are facing an injury crisis and inconsistent performances in defence that has crippled the current season. The Red Devils have conceded 20 goals from 12 games so far in all competitions. United have lost 6 matches in all competitions as a consequence of their defensive instability.
At the moment, Ten Hag’s team sits in 8th place on the Premier League table, trailing the top four by five points. Additionally, the Manchester giants are fourth in the Champions League Group A table after losing the first two games.
Ten Hag have been without both of his first-choice centre-backs, Raphael Varane and Martinez, due to injury. The Red Devils deployed Jonny Evans and Maguire against Sheffield United in the last Premier League game. However, Varane returned from his injury to play a cameo after substituting in for Evans in the 84th minute. United won the away match against the Blades with a narrow 1-2 score to win their second consecutive game.
Express reports that United’s transfer hopes in January rely on the situation surrounding Maguire and Martinez. Martinez has experienced an extended period of sideline and has faced performance challenges when he played this season. The return date for the Argentina international is still unknown with questions about his fitness level after two foot surgeries.
On the other hand, Maguire has given solid performances in the limited game time he has received this season. The 30-year-old fell down the pecking order when Ten Hag started his reign at the United. The England international lost his captaincy during the summer as he was unable to win the starting role last season.
During the summer, West Ham United made an attempt to sign Maguire after the two clubs had accepted a deal. However, the deal fell through after Maguire failed to agree to the terms of departure with the Red Devils.
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We think that Maguire’s position is still in doubt despite his strong performances whenever he started for United. However, the United boss might want a younger long-term solution for defence with a player who suits his desired profile. The Red Devils have a shortlist of defenders according to the reports of reliable sports journalist, Fabricio Romano. Once the future of Maguire and Martinez becomes clear, we can only speculate about which defender United will prioritize.