Former Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick could turn to his old club after becoming Middlesbrough's new manager.
Carrick, 41, has taken his first full-time managerial role on Teesside this week, replacing the sacked Chris Wilder at the Championship club. It comes after he took temporary charge of United last season following Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's dismissal.
With Boro languishing above the relegation zone, Carrick faces quite the task to turn their fortunes around. But his connections at Old Trafford could give him a helping hand, as he alluded to in his first press conference.
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"Depends who’s expensive or not doesn’t it, they might give me a couple of cheap deals hopefully," he joked.
"That’s part of football – who you know and building relationships and trust, and hopefully we take good players, whether it’s to sign them or on loan, and they’re going to trust us to look after their players."
So with deals looking likely between the two clubs, Daily Star Sport is taking a look at nine United players Carrick could sign in the January transfer window.
Which United player would you sign if you were Carrick? Let us know in the comments section below
United's £37million star for the future Amad Diallo, 20, is already out on loan in the Championship having joined Sunderland on Transfer Deadline Day for the season.
But he's struggled for game time at the Stadium of Light and was used in the reserves earlier this month, although he did score his first Black Cats goal against Burnley in a 4-2 defeat at the weekend.
Amad will no doubt be afforded more opportunities under a familiar face, and United might well see fit to recall him and send him Carrick's way instead.
Nobody's quite sure how Phil Jones is still a United player now aged 30, but his time at Old Trafford may be coming to an end with his contract expiring next summer.
A move to another Premier League club looks unlikely and Jones has flirted with the idea of a Championship switch in the past.
Injuries have plagued the centre-back but even if he can't get on the pitch all that often, his presence in the changing room alongside former team-mate Carrick could be very handy.
Like Jones, fellow defender Axel Tuanzebe is out of contract at the end of the season and the Championship looks to be his most likely destination.
A loan spell to Napoli last season went horribly wrong and he's only ever made more than 10 appearances in a season once, which was for Aston Villa in the second tier.
At 24, Tuanzebe is in danger of watching his career pass him by, but Carrick could offer him a lifeline. He's currently out injured until after the World Cup but may be a great defensive reinforcement for the relegation fight.
Despite not yet making his senior United debut, 20-year-old Facundo Pellistri has been included in Uruguay's preliminary squad for the Qatar World Cup.
Erik ten Hag has repeatedly named him on the bench this season but it's game time which he needs, something he's lacked since joining from Penarol for £7.25m in 2020.
A loan stint at the Riverside for the second half of the season seems like the ideal solution for Pellistri, who already has seven international appearances to his name.
Carrick is spoilt for choice when it comes to centre-backs because if he doesn't fancy the more experience Jones or Tuanzebe, he could opt for the youthful Teden Mengi.
Mengi, 20, has just returned from injury in United's youth set up, but it's clear he's ready for the next step in his career.
He's already had loan spells with Derby County and Birmingham City in the past two seasons, and a similar stint at Boro in the New Year makes sense.
Winger Alejandro Garnacho is another talented youngster pushing for first-team football, who United signed from Atletico Madrid in 2020.
Ten Hag has given him two substitute appearances in the Europa League and a Premier League cameo against Brighton on the opening day of the season so far.
As is the case for the aforementioned Pellistri, Garnacho would benefit from regular minutes and the Championship would be a good place to get some.
Unlike some of his counterparts, Shola Shoretire is still being utilised in United's under-21s and is yet to be included in the senior squad this season.
At 18, there's plenty of time for his moment to come, but he's showing that he's too good for youth football with four goals and an assist in seven appearances.
Should Carrick need competition for the likes of Chuba Akpom and Duncan Watmore, then he could do a lot worse than Shoretire.
While most of Carrick's options on this list would only be loan deals, he could snap up full-back Brandon Williams permanently.
The 22-year-old is yet to feature for Ten Hag due to injury, but even if he is fit, he's behind Luke Shaw, Tyrell Malacia, Diogo Dalot and Aaron Wan-Bissaka in the pecking order.
After an unremarkable season on loan at Norwich, it doesn't look like he's got a long-term future at Old Trafford, but Carrick could give him a new lease of life.
It would take some convincing from Carrick for United to let Anthony Elanga depart for the second half of the season. He more than proved he can cut it at the elite level under Ralf Rangnick.
But Elanga, 20, hasn't been utilised anywhere near as much under Ten Hag following the £76m summer arrival of Antony, who followed his former boss from Ajax.
A spell tearing it up in the Championship would do wonders for the Sweden international's confidence and go a long way to relieving Boro's relegation fears.
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