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Five defensive midfielders to cover crocked Daley Blind at Man Utd

Following the news that Manchester United defensive midfielder Daley Blind has been ruled out for up to six months with a knee injury suffered on international duty for the Netherlands, Coral writers have come up with five possible replacements.

Red Devils’ vice-chairman Ed Woodward recently said: “We are not looking to enter the market for short-term fixes”, but the club may have to retract that, with a number of players now on the sidelines.

United, who are down in seventh in the Premier League so far this term, are odds-on at 4/7 to finish in the top four, and 4/1 to win a major trophy.

Morgan Schneiderlin
Southampton star Schneiderlin desperately wanted away in the summer, following his side’s exodus of players, but the Saints are surprise high-flyers in the Premier League this term. The France international still maintains that he wants to leave for a bigger club one day, and could get his chance with United as soon as January.

Nigel de Jong
Reds Devils boss Louis van Gaal knows the AC Milan destroyer well, during their time with the Dutch national team, and he could go in for the 29-year-old. Former Manchester City man De Jong’s contract runs down next summer, so would represent a cheap option.

Kevin Strootman
Van Gaal has openly declared interest in signing the 24-year-old Netherlands international before, but his club Roma would be very unwilling to let one of their best players leave. Strootman is only just coming back from his own serious knee injury, but played in his team’s most recent Serie A game against Torino, where he came on for the last seven minutes.

William Carvalho
United were heavily linked with the Portugal prospect all summer, but in the end he stayed with Sporting Lisbon. The 22-year-old has had a somewhat disappointing season so far, so may be tempted in a move to Old Trafford, where he is likely to get much game time. Could current Sporting loanee Nani be used as leverage?

Lars Bender
Leverkusen skipper Bender has enjoyed a decent season with the German club this term, and earned caps recently against Gibraltar and Spain for the world champions. Man Utd are in much need of a winning mentality after a dire 2013/14 campaign by their standards, and Bender could be the answer.