Is Arturo Vidal just what Solskjaer is looking for?
Manchester United have been linked to Barcelona's Arturo Vidal this week and, given their current midfield plight, he could be useful to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Vidal is 32 now and no longer quite the irresistible force of nature he was when he won multiple trophies at Juventus and Bayern Munich.
The Chile international – who is understood to be suing Barcelona over unpaid bonuses – could be on his way out of the Nou Camp in January and he could come tailor-made for the Red Devils.
Reports in South America claim United are set to outbid Inter Milan for his services and Italian publication Corriere della Sera state Vidal’s agent Fernando Felicevich, who also represents Alexis Sanchez, has travelled from Chile to Europe to hold talks with Inter over a potential €20m (£17m) move.
No doubt about it – Manchester United need help in midfield at the moment and their 3-1 Carabao Cup semi-final defeat to rivals City at Old Trafford on Tuesday underlined that.
Fred battled gamely against Ilkay Gundogan and Rodri, but looked outnumbered at times as City took hold of the game after opening the scoring through Bernardo Silva.
The losses of Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay to injury have depleted Solskjaer’s options to the point where he must act quickly to ensure the club are not knocked out of all contention for silverware before either player returns from injury.
United have also been linked to Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Ruben Neves, but a mid-season move for the Portugal international while his club is in direct competition with the Reds for the top four and both the FA Cup and Europa League looks fanciful.
Vidal’s best years may be behind him, but he still possesses enough energy in his legs and passion in his play to boost a flagging United side for a crucial six months.
He may have only completed the full 90 minutes in La Liga or the Champions League four times this season, but if he were any more of a regular for Ernesto Valverde there would be no chance of getting him at this point in time.
The Barcelona coach has tended to use Vidal as an impact substitute in matches where his side have been sluggish in the first half, as he did recently when throwing the midfielder on at half-time against Espanyol.
Solskjaer does not have that sort of player at his disposal right now, although Vidal would surely be guaranteed to start in the short term if the rumoured interest was to become anything more.