Man Utd's 7 biggest January transfer window mistakes including Alexis Sanchez failure
If Manchester United want to play in the Champions League next season, they may need to enter the transfer market in January.
Like all clubs, United have made their fair share of blunders in the January transfer window - and not just with purchases.
They've also allowed some quality players to leave the club mid-season, such as current Barcelona ace Memphis Depay.
Here, Mirror Football takes a look at seven transfer mistakes United have made in January - including an infamous swap deal.
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United thought they were signing one of the best players in the Premier League when Sanchez agreed to join them in January 2018.
At the time, the Chilean forward was banging in the goals for rivals Arsenal, scoring 30 in all competitions the previous season.
United agreed a swap deal involving Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who'd failed to hit headlines during his 18-month spell at Old Trafford.
Sanchez signed a reported £400,000-a-week deal and arrived to much fanfare, weirdly playing "Glory Glory Man Utd" on the piano in his unveiling video.
His musical skills were the only thing that impressed United fans, however, as he ended up scoring just three Premier League goals before joining Inter Milan 18 months later.
Crystal Palace ace Zaha was one of the best youngsters in England when Ferguson made him his final United signing in January 2013.
At that point, he'd already made his England debut as a Championship player in November 2012 - later switching allegiances to the Ivory Coast in 2017 - and received the prestigious EFL Young Player of the Year award.
Zaha remained at Palace until the end of the 2012-13 campaign, achieving promotion to the Premier League, before joining United alongside Moyes in the summer.
His time at Old Trafford was a disaster, making just two Premier League appearances before joining Cardiff on loan for the rest of the 2013-14 campaign, where he suffered relegation.
Zaha then went on to re-sign for Palace in the summer of 2014 - making his deal permanent six months later - with United taking a financial hit on the sale.
Red Devils fans then had to watch him become one of the finest players in the Premier League outside of the so-called "Big Six" - winning the division's Player of the Month award in April 2018.
Sir Alex Ferguson was prone to signing a random flop during his time in charge of United, such as Bebe, Alexander Buttner and Massimo Taibi.
Angola international Manucho certainly belongs on that list, signing a three-year contract with the club in January 2008.
After scoring plenty of goals for Angolan outfit Petro Atletico and impressing on trial, Ferguson handed the striker his chance to play in England.
But Manucho made just one Premier League appearance for the Red Devils before loan spells at Greek outfit Panathinaikos and Hull City.
He went on to play for several teams in Europe, including Real Valladolid and Rayo Vallecano, before finishing his career in the summer of 2019.
Another strange Ferguson signing, Fangzhuo arrived at Old Trafford from Chinese outfit Dalian Shide in January 2004.
United reportedly spent an initial £500,000 on the China international, a fee that could've risen to £3.5million depending on appearances.
It didn't, though, as the striker made just one Premier League outing for United in three-and-a-half years at the club.
A large amount of that time was spent on loan at Belgian side Royal Antwerp, where he managed to score 34 league goals.
Fangzhuo went on to play in Poland, Portugal, Armenia and China again before calling time on his career in 2014.
There's no denying Forlan enjoyed an outstanding career, winning trophies in England, Spain, Brazil, Uruguay, Hong Kong and even at international level.
His time at Old Trafford, though, didn't quite go to plan. The Uruguayan, then 22, joined United from Argentine side Independiente in January 2002 and was expected to flourish.
"We’ve watched him three times and think he has good potential, two good feet, he’s quick and a good header of the ball," said Ferguson.
Forlan managed just 10 Premier League goals in two-and-a-half years, however, failing to live up to his huge potential.
He went on to join Villarreal in the summer of 2004 and immediately enjoyed success in Spain, scoring 25 La Liga goals in his first season.
Forlan later became a World Cup Golden Boot winner, leaving United fans wondering what might have been.
United thought they'd found two future stars when they signed Zoran Tosic and Adem Ljajic from Partizan Belgrade in January 2009, yet the deal didn't work out as planned.
Ljajic's move to Old Trafford collapsed and Tosic made just two Premier League appearances before joining German side Koln on loan 12 months later.
Despite failing to make the grade at United, Tosic still enjoyed a decent career at CSKA Moscow, winning three Russian Premier League titles and picking up 76 caps for Serbia.
Now 34, he's currently playing for Kazakh outfit FC Tobol.
The midfielder's impressive performances in the EFL led to Leicester spending a reported £1m on him in January 2012, a move that seemed good business for both parties.
United were left to regret the decision, though, as Drinkwater lifted the Premier League title as an England international four-and-a-half years later.
Leicester went on to sell him to Chelsea for a reported £35m in the summer of 2017.
As of January 2021, Drinkwater has won the Premier League more recently than United.