Manchester United are as it stands unlikely to sign a midfielder before the January transfer deadline on Tuesday, despite concerns over Christian Eriksen after he suffered an ankle injury in the FA Cup win over Reading on Saturday.
Eriksen was seen leaving Old Trafford on crutches following a heavy tackle by Andy Carroll, who was later sent off, though the club have not yet communicated the severity of the problem.
The Danish midfielder has been a key part of Erik ten Hag's team since his arrival at Old Trafford, and has been involved in every first team game so far this season apart from the 0-0 home draw with Newcastle in October. He has scored twice and provided seven assists across all competitions.
His creativity has been seen as integral to the improvement of United under the Dutchman this season, and his absence will come as a huge blow with United in the midst of a heavily congested fixture list.
United resume their league campaign with matches against Crystal Palace and two against Leeds, while Barcelona are on the horizon in the Europa League in February too. United first have to negotiate the second leg of an EFL Cup semi-final with Nottingham Forest on Wednesday, though are in complete control ahead of the match at Old Trafford with a 3-0 aggregate lead.
Ten Hag has long-term transfer targets for the midfield and with the club up for sale, as well as in a difficult cash position, it's seen as unlikely at best that they will bolster their midfield options this month. Ten Hag has however always stressed that he would like to strike for an opportunity if one appears.
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90min understands however that Eriksen's injury puts paid to Newcastle's hopes of signing Scott McTominay this month, as they have again asked about the Scottish midfielder's status in the last 48 hours. Jonjo Shelvey is closing in on a move to Nottingham Forest and the Magpies are looking at strengthening their own options in midfield, with Conor Gallagher and Ruben Loftus-Cheek also on their radar. Sources have also confirmed that Southampton joined Newcastle in making a late check on McTominay.
Newcastle have signed Anthony Gordon over the weekend and are looking at potential loan deals, with Eddie Howe looking to sign an experienced option as they push for Champions League qualification.
United wish to keep hold of McTominay, as reported by 90min earlier this month, as they see him as an important squad member at present. His importance has only risen following Eriksen's injury, while United only have four senior midfielders - McTominay, Casemiro, Fred and Bruno Fernandes - available in Eriksen's absence.
17-year-old academy product Kobbie Mainoo has seen first team action recently and could be relied upon more in the coming weeks as Eriksen recovers.
Source : 90min