Are Chelsea leaving Manchester United for dead in the January transfer window?

They are only rumours right now. But we expect things to hot up considerably for Chelsea in the last 10 days of the window. They are reportedly chasing Douglas Costa of Shaktar Donetsk and/or Juan Cuadrado of Fiorentina.

While any arrivals could hinge on the successful transfers of Mohamed Salah (who has been linked with a loan move) and Andre Schurrle (who could move to Wolfsburg), there has been intense speculation with regards Chelsea transfers in the last couple of days.

With Manchester United floundering 12 points behind the leaders you might expect that they, not Chelsea, would be the main movers in the market this month.

But, after masses of hype before the turn of the year, Manchester United have had a quiet month so far with only goalkeeper Victor Valdes joining the club until now.

The accepted wisdom on this is that Manchester United are saving their transfer kitty for the availability of their top targets – that’s understandable. But there is surely a case to be made for both of these reported Chelsea targets being great buys for Manchester United.

The way we see it, Louis van Gaal’s side lacks two elements – pace and dynamism. Manchester United have seriously struggled to get behind opposition defences over the last 18 months and we feel that both of these players would make a big difference to the speed of the side. Cuadrado is machine-like in his perennial motion. He would surely be a great addition to the team and bring the sort of penetration on the right flank that Di Maria can offer on the left. Costa’s qualities are similar.

There is of course a chance that both of these players want to join Chelsea and not Manchester United – given the respective positions of the clubs. But it seems to us that United’s need is greater and these two would both be gettable and valuable signings.