Man Utd’s XI after Sancho swap deal could get them into the Champions League

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag could have a team worthy of Champions League qualification following the January transfer window. The Red Devils won’t be too busy next month but could make one or two additions, including a swap deal which would see Jadon Sancho rejoin Borussia Dortmund.

United currently sit seventh in the Premier League, six points behind Manchester City in fourth. The aim between now and the end of the season will surely be to qualify for next season’s Champions League.

There is a good chance that the Premier League will be given an extra spot, meaning the top five will enter Europe’s elite club competition. However, United finishing bottom in the group stage hasn’t helped matters in that regard.

John Murtough has already stated United won’t be splashing the cash in January unless money can be brought in for fringe players. Express Sport looks at how United could line up once players are fit and the January window comes to a close.

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Goalkeeper – Onana

Ten Hag remains confident in Andre Onana and he will remain No 1, even if he chooses to go to the Africa Cup of Nations. United can’t cut their losses yet on the £47million signing.

Defence – Boey, Varane, Martinez, Shaw

A new right-back could be on the agenda. Neither Diogo Dalot nor Aaron Wan-Bissaka have been able to nail down that spot.

Galatasaray star Sacha Boey impressed against United in their two meetings this season. Turkish outlet Fanatik claimed this week that the Red Devils are interested in the 23-year-old Frenchman and contact had already been made over his potential signing.

He could slot into a defence boasting the returning Lisandro Martinez, who has been missing since September with a foot injury. ESPN claims Ten Hag wants to keep Raphael Varane and he could reestablish that partnership with Martinez, while Luke Shaw remains first choice at left-back.

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Midfield – Casemiro, Mainoo, Fernandes

ESPN also claims that Casemiro is a player Ten Hag wants to keep until the end of the season at least. The Brazilian has struggled with form and injuries in recent months.

But a fit Casemiro would be an important cog in a push for a place in the top four or five. Kobbie Mainoo continues to showcase his talent at such a young age.

The teenager is showing maturity beyond his years and could be a regular throughout the rest of the season. Skipper Bruno Fernandes will be keen to ignore criticism and do his talking on the pitch as the No 10.

Attack – Malen, Hojlund, Rashford

United continue to be linked with a deal for former Arsenal youngster Donyell Malen. ESPN says Malen is ready to leave Dortmund and a swap with Sancho could be thrashed out.

Ten Hag wants rid of Sancho and getting a player in return could work well. Malen is versatile and would provide a goalscoring threat from wherever he plays.

If Marcus Rashford returns to somewhere near the form he showed last season, then United would be in a far better place. Rasmus Hojlund has shown signs of coming good and Ten Hag hopes his fortunes change in 2024.

United’s potential line up after January: Onana; Boey, Varane, Martinez, Shaw; Casemiro, Mainoo; Rashford, Fernandes, Malen; Hojlund

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