As the footballing world approaches the halfway point of the January transfer window, clubs across the planet are trying to make some final signings before the end of the month. With an interim manager in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, it seems unlikely that Manchester United will be making any big money moves in this window. However, that doesn’t mean the club won’t be willing to sell, as certain players might be sent elsewhere in attempt to raise funds ahead of a potentially vital summer transfer window.
It’s never quite come together for Marcos Rojo at Manchester United. Signed after the 2014 World Cup, Rojo was one of three left-backs signed in the same window by former manager Louis van Gaal. He was quickly converted into a centre-back but still wasn’t able to cement a spot in the starting XI. Injuries kept him off the field on a consistent basis, which prevented the Argentine from ever building any true momentum in the team. There was genuine hope when he formed a decent partnership with Phil Jones, with the paired being referred to as RoJones, but neither were able to keep the good times rolling. It’s been the same story for Rojo this year, with his costly mistake against Arsenal being a final straw for many. He’s yet to come back from injury and could be sold before he ever gets the chance to return to the Old Trafford pitch.
Some would be surprised to learn that Matteo Darmian is still at the club. That’s not a knock on the player per se, but it’s mostly a reflection on how little he’s played in recent times. It seemed almost certain that the Italian would be leaving this past summer, with a number of Serie A team interested in Darmian, but nothing ever came to fruition. He’s started a few games this season for United, and even went the full 90 at Anfield in Jose Mourinho's last game. He’s only featured once under Solskjaer, however, with that coming in the early round tie of the FA Cup against Reading. Darmian has always been someone who can do a job when called upon, with his performance in the Europa League final against Ajax cementing a spot in the minds of most United fans. However, he’s a player that’s deserving of more playing time, and he just won’t be getting those minutes in Manchester. As an Italy international, United will take comfort in the fact that they’ll be able to get a decent enough transfer fee whenever they decide to sell Darmian.
It would be fair to say a number of United fans have soured on Antonio Valencia in recent times. One of the longest-serving players at the club, the Ecuadorian impressed when he made the transition from winger to full-back. It worked for a stretch of time, but he’s simply no longer the answer at right back anymore. He managed to upset a bulk of the United fanbase after not taking time after games to thank the team support, and he’s not been good enough on the field to make up for his actions off it. Solskjaer has said that Valencia will still be captain when he does make the starting lineup, but it’s clear he’ll be playing fewer and fewer games as the season comes to a close. The Mirror have reported that Inter Milan are looking at signing him at the end of the season, but it wouldn’t be too shocking to see Valencia head out before the end of this transfer window.
Many players have greatly benefited from the arrival of Solskjaer, but Marouane Fellaini has been the only one to suffer under the Norwegian. Consistently relied upon by former manager Jose Mourinho, the Belgian often found himself starting or coming off the bench in big games. It’s been a different story under the new boss, as Fellaini has only played 31 minutes since Solskjaer took over. Simply put, he doesn’t fit the new style of play. United are much quicker now, and don’t need the size and strength of the Belgian anymore. Luckily for the club, there should be a number of suitors willing to take Fellaini, with Sport Witness reporting that Turkish side Fenerbahce are currently the front-runners to bring in the player. The Belgian has had his moments in a United shirt, but it’s time for him and the club to move on from one another.