Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson may hit the panic button after their dismal Carling Cup defeat to Crystal Palace. The Daily Mail says there are growing concerns that the likes of Paul Pogba may not fulfil their potential and may have to be shipped out on loan in January, or even offloaded permanently, to make way for reinforcements.

With Ferguson increasingly exploring the continental market, others such as Tomasz Kuszczak, Darron Gibson and Dimitar Berbatov could also be on their way out, while Jonny Evans may be running out of opportunities after again failing to impress.

Out-of-favour keeper Kuszczak has made his frustration clear to Ferguson, who has monitored the form of leading Bundesliga talents like Borussia Dortmund's Mario Goetze and has also sent scouts to watch Udinese's French-born Morocco defender Mehdi Benatia, who can operate at centre-half or as a midfield anchor man.