David Moyes faces disappointment over the signings of Real Madrid's Fabio Coentrão and Atlético Madrid's Koke despite the Manchester United manager's urgent wish to strengthen this month.
Coentrão has agreed a deal to join United but the champions may miss out on the left-back for a second consecutive window as Real do not want to sell any players during January. "No players are leaving and we're not going to sign anyone," said Carlo Ancelotti, the Real manager, on Sunday. "The window is closed for us."
Despite the public stance, there remains hope that Jorge Mendes, Coentrão's agent, will be able to persuade Real to sell the 25-year-old, who has made only four starts in La Liga this season and was reportedly upset when Moyes failed to sign him in the summer transfer window.
Moyes turned to the Portuguese on the closing day of the last window after a last-ditch bid to purchase Leighton Baines from Everton was rejected. The United manager, who is keen to bring competition at left-back, ended a difficult summer by seeing his hopes of taking Coentrão to Old Trafford break down owing to an issue over paperwork.
As far as Koke is concerned, United have the funds to acquire the midfielder but believe there will be difficulties in trying to sign the 21-year-old. The Atlético sporting director, José Luis Pérez Caminero, signalled as much when stating the player will not leave the club in mid-season. "Koke will be with us for many years. I am convinced," Caminero said. "He is a player who has improved considerably. [He] has also made it into the Spain squad and that puts you in the spotlight and opens more eyes."