Manchester United are considering moves for both Raul Jimenez and Ruben Neves.
United want the 22-year-old Neves to occupy a place in midfield after injuries to Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay, but he would perhaps be most suited to replacing Nemanja Matic.
The 31-year-old Serbian international looks set to stay for the remainder of the season, but according to Goal, the midfielder’s contract is due to expire at the end of the campaign and he anticipates that his long term future is in Italy, where he has been linked to Inter Milan.
The report says that a move for Neves appears unlikely because he too would prefer a move to Italy, namely to champions Juventus, though it is hard to see where he would fit in given the strength of their squad.
More likely seems to be a move for Wolves striker Raul Jimenez. At 28, the Mexican forward is a departure from United’s usual targets of young and predominantly British players, but that suggests that after blowing their initial transfer shortlist ambitions, they are moving onto more pragmatic and easily achieved options.
Jimenez’s agent Jorge Mendes has a longstanding relationship with Manchester United and in particular Alex Ferguson, and the Portuguese has hinted that Jimenez could soon be moving on from his current club.
He impressed against United with his current side when he made a substitute appearance in the FA Cup game on Saturday, and would be a traditional number nine compared to the current options of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood.
Whether United will be able to complete these deals is another matter. Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has a poor record of acting swiftly when the deadline approaches in either the summer or winter, and seems happier talking about transfers than he actually does completing them.