Sporting Life's Manchester United transfer round-up: Will Ole Gunnar Solskjaer make January additions?

Manchester United transfer news: A round-up of rumours, including Kalidou Koulibaly and Philippe Coutinho talk

Manchester United are flying under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and fans will be hoping to see some January additions to help keep up the momentum.

The Red Devils have won five in a row since the Norwegian replaced Jose Mourinho at the Old Trafford helm on an interim basis until the end of the season.

The first-team squad are currently on a warm weather training camp in Dubai ahead of their Premier League clash at Tottenham on Sunday, with spirits clearly high under their new coaching team (see gallery below).

The board are reportedly willing to spend big in January, mainly to secure the signature of a star defender they have been lacking over the years, with Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof failing to live up to that billing after big-money transfers in recent seasons.

We take a look at the latest transfer rumours surrounding the club, using odds from Sky Bet's transfer window specials to see how well backed they are to arrive in January...

Defenders chase on?

Kalidou Koulibaly and Roberto Firmino battle for possession in the Champions League

The club are still lacking that strong leader in the heart of defence and they have been linked with three big-name defenders as potential men to fill that void.

The first is Kalidou Koulibaly and the more likely January addition. The Senegalese centre-back, 27, is apparently open to a move to the Red Devils from Napoli and it is reported United have such high hopes of signing him that they could pay up to 100 million Euros for his services.

He is currently 6/1 to join the Red Devils this summer.

The potential snag is that Napoli could be unwilling to negotiate and they may need to wait until the summer, a running theme with their targets in this window.

But United's desire to make a top-four charge could see them step up their pursuit of top targets such as Koulibaly and may look elsewhere if they cannot get their man immediately.

Kostas Manolas: The Greek defender is being watched by a number of top European clubs

Another defensive target is Kostas Manolas, a Greek defender attracting the interest of Euro giants Barcelona and Juventus.

The Roma man has been a regular feature in recent transfer windows and a £30.5 million summer release clause could tempt the Serie A club into selling now.

United are 8/1 favourites to secure his signature this month, with Chelsea 14/1 and Real Madrid at 18s.

Nikola Milenkovic: A target for United

A defender we regularly see linked with a mega move, Nikola Milenkovic, is another player strongly tipped to move to Old Trafford.

The highly-rated Serbian - still only 21 - could cost over £45 million and Andreas Pereira could be used as a potential makeweight.

He currently plays for Fiorentina and is contracted until 2022.

At around 6ft 5in, he fits the bill as a towering defender and already has 79 senior appearances at club level, along with 10 international caps.

Verdict: Even though United only have an interim manager in place, it seems like they are keen to spend big on a defender in order to strengthen their top four charge. They have plenty of options across Europe, as well as the likes of Harry Maguire and Toby Alderweireld in the Premier League who they have previously been linked with, and it is clear none of these will come cheap.

The most likely option could be Koulibaly, probably the most expensive too, but the Napoli man would shore up their back line considerably. At the same time, it would also be no surprise to see them fail to sign any and put their big spending on hold until the summer.

Former Liverpool player set for Old Trafford switch?

Philippe Coutinho prepares for El Clasico

A year after leaving Liverpool to join Barcelona in a mega £146 million deal, Philippe Coutinho has been strongly linked with a return to the Premier League and the north west - but not to Anfield, a move which would no doubt annoy the red half of Merseyside.

The Red Devils are 6/1 favourites to sign the Brazilian in January and speculation started after he lost his place in the starting XI - with his last four La Liga appearances all coming from the bench.

It would be unfair to say he has flopped since moving to the Catalan giants, scoring 15 goals and laying on 10 assists in 45 appearances, and it is hard to envisage an exit so soon after a big-money move, especially before the summer.

Some outlets suggest talks have already been opened, but the Manchester Evening News say otherwise.

They are in need of additions elsewhere in the team and the managerial uncertainty also casts doubt over such a huge transfer at this stage of the season.

Herrera boost: New deal on the horizon?

Ander Herrera: Said to be happy in Manchester

Spanish midfielder Ander Herrera has been linked with a return to Athletic Bilbao in recent days, but reports suggest Solskjaer has convinced him to stay put.

The 29-year-old's Old Trafford deal is due to expire in the summer and he could extend his deal after a promising turnaround under the Norwegian.

The news comes after Bilbao's new director of football Rafa Alkorta confirmed interest in bringing him back to the Basque club, telling radio network Cadena SER: "We are interested in Javi Martinez, Ibai Gomez, Ander Herrera, Fernando Llorente... all of them interest us."

Perisic to finally become a Red Devil?

Ivan Perisic scored Croatia's winner against Iceland at the World Cup

Death, taxes and Manchester United being linked with Ivan Perisic in every transfer window - nothing is certain but these three it seems.

The Croatian attacker is one of those players linked so often you think he will never actually move to the club, but reports suggest his club Inter Milan could be set to cash in.

The Serie A giants want to fund a move for Perisic's compatriot Luka Modric and the 29-year-old could be available for around £31m.

He has previously spoken of his desire to play in England, saying in November: "I have always said that [playing in the Premier League] is my dream. In football everything is possible, we will see in the future. Now, I'm focusing on Inter."

The reports suggest this move could take place in the summer though, so United fans will have to wait a little longer to see if he will don the red shirt.

Tottenham v Manchester United odds (via Sky Bet)

Home - 11/10 | Draw - 13/5 | Away - 23/10

Click here to place your bets on the Premier League clash

Picture special: United in Dubai

Antonio Valencia takes a break

Antonio Valencia and Alexis Sanchez take a break

Manchester United in Dubai training

Marouane Fellaini in Dubai training

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looks to get his ideas across

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer instructs his Manchester United players

All smiles in Dubai for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

All smiles in Dubai: Antonio Valencia, Alexis Sanchez, Eric Bailly and Juan Mata

Paul Pogba training in Dubai

Ander Herrera training in Dubai

Odds correct as of 1120 GMT on 09/01/19

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