It remains unknown as to whether it will be Ryan Giggs or another permanent appointment leading the recruitment charge at Manchester United this summer, but a busy transfer window at Old Trafford is sure to lie ahead.
The Daily Star's Jeremy Cross reports that Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal is close to penning a deal at the club worth an annual salary of £7 million.
Whoever it might be that takes the reins of the Red Devils, there already exists a steady flow of speculation around several big-name prospects, with the latest developments detailed ahead.
Toni Kroos, Bayern Munich
Yet to sign a contract extension at the Allianz Arena and a Bayern Munich exit seemingly a possibility, Toni Kroos ranks near the top of Van Gaal's transfer priorities should he take to the Manchester United helm.
That's according to Matt Lawton of the Daily Mail, who names the central midfielder as one of three German internationals set firmly in the Dutchman's sights.
Last week, German daily newspaper Bild (h/t Daily Mail's Kit Holden) quoted Kroos saying of a potential Bayern exit that "it is my future, and my decision."
Kroos may appear to have the world at his feet as part of a flourishing midfield under Pep Guardiola, but the time is fast approaching when he must make clear where he wishes to play his football.
The potential arrival of Van Gaal could be key to that decision.
Marco Reus, Borussia Dortmund
United are holding out some hope of luring long-time target Marco Reus to the Premier League this summer in what's become a lengthy investment of their time over the past two years.
The attacking figure has been offered a new deal at Signal Iduna Park—which Bild (h/t Daily Mail's John Drayton) states is worth £6 million-a-year—in order to eliminate the £28 million release clause in his current deal, which becomes active in 2015.
However, Bild (h/t Sky Sports) goes on to quote Reus as being hesitant on talk of the new deal, stating: "I'm not saying anything about my contract. But I do have the time to emphasise how good I feel at Dortmund."
Of course, those comments aren't to be taken in a negative regard by Black and Yellow fans, but it may not be taken as a positive note, either.
Like Kroos, clarification is required by the player, and United will hope to capitalise on the uncertainty.
Mats Hummels, Borussia Dortmund
Rounding off Van Gaal's trio of German targets, per Lawton's Daily Mail article, is another star of Jurgen Klopp's line-ups of recent years, Mats Hummels, who left Bayern Munich in 2009 shortly before Van Gaal was appointed manager of the club.
Now, it seems, Van Gaal may look to strike up a relationship he came so close to engineering five years ago, with Hummels' success in North Rhine-Westphalia having turned him into one of his nation's most revered defenders.
Speaking to German magazine Kicker (h/t ESPN FC's Stephan Uersfeld) this week, Hummels spoke fondly of reuniting with Shinji Kagawa at the Westfalenstadion, with the Japanese international linked with a return to his former stomping ground:
We would take Shinji with the greatest pleasure. To form an attacking midfield with [Marco] Reus, [Henrikh] Mkhitaryan and Kagawa—that would absolutely have style. And that’s nothing against our other amazing players. The attacking midfield, also without Shinji, is our best staffed part of the team.
Hummels has been regaining form recently, following his return from a lengthy spell on the sidelines earlier this season, as pointed out by WhoScored.com:
The defender appears to be thinking about how Dortmund can improve next term, rather than a move away from the club, but Van Gaal is tipped to approach the centre-back over the possibility of replacing Inter-bound Nemanja Vidic.
Javier Hernandez, Manchester United
It's not all about whom United may add to their ranks this week, as Javier Hernandez's chances of leaving Old Trafford are once again a topic of discussion.
The Daily Mail's Laurie Whitwell writes that Aston Villa are setting their standards high and will attempt to land the Mexican international, who has once again sat on the Red Devils' fringes this season.
In March, Hernandez's agent Eduardo Hernandez told Calciomercato.it (h/t ESPN FC's Richard Jolly) that speculation of a rumoured move away from the club was just that:
I think these are just rumours. I have no news of Inter and Manchester United have not let me know anything about a possible offer. The same goes for the other teams that have been linked to my client. To date there is nothing concrete.
Squawka shows just how accurate Hernandez has been in his 22 Premier League appearances this season:
Chicharito's career may well be best served if he were to seek first-team football elsewhere, although that's not to make light of the Mexican's valiant efforts to establish his talent at Manchester United in recent years.
If he does leave, it would be a surprise if Aston Villa is the best club he can find.
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