Danish goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard, who has been training with the Reds in December, officially becomes a United in January, but is likely to be the only new arrival. Instead, Sir Alex may ensure he has sufficient cover all over the pitch by manoeuvring some of United’s young players on loan deals.
Chief among them could be the return of midfielder Tom Cleverley from a largely successful stint at Wigan Athletic, while Federico Macheda has expressed an interest in being farmed out for the rest of the season. His agent has been quoted in the press saying he’d favour a temporary move to Italy.
"We have no plans to bring anyone in when the window opens," Sir Alex confirmed on Friday.
"Kiko is in the same position as the likes of Danny Welbeck and Mame Biram Diouf. We've got a clutch of young strikers at the club who need games. Kiko comes into that category.
"I've had a chat with him. I don’t want him to go but the way the squad is shaping up - Michael Owen is fit again, Chicharito is progressing well, Bebe will be a striker, and we can play Obertan there - Kiko needs games.
"Welbeck has shown that through consistent regular football he has progressed dramatically, and he must eventually get in the England squad. When I spoke to Kiko I explained the same could happen to him if he goes to another club for five or six months. He could come back a better player.”
A more pressing matter might be the future of Cleverley, who, despite niggling injuries, has impressed on loan at Wigan. “He’s done very well. But