Manchester United Transfer News: Luke Shaw Set to Sign, Fabio Coentrao Door Shut

Rory MarsdenFeatured ColumnistMay 21, 2014

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - MAY 11:  (L-R) Luke Shaw of Southampton holds off Chris Smalling of Manchester United during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Manchester United at St Mary's Stadium on May 11, 2014 in Southampton, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Manchester United are set to sign Southampton defender Luke Shaw for approximately £30 million as the Red Devils begin their rebuilding process after a poor 2013-14 season.

As reported by Colin Harvey in the Daily Star, the England international is poised to become United's first signing under new manager Louis van Gaal:

Starsport understands the deal is all but done and the 18-year-old left back will become Van Gaal's first signing for around £30m.

The new United boss has been handed a £200m warchest at Old Trafford and he isn't hanging around in spending it.

It means the end at United for Patrice Evra.

Shaw's move to Old Trafford has been rumoured for some time. United are looking to shore up an ageing defence that conceded 43 goals in the Premier League this season, per BBC Sport.

Southampton's defence kept an impressive 15 clean sheets over the season, per Sky Sports, and Shaw is seen as the ideal replacement for the 33-year-old Evra.

Similarly attacking, Shaw will provide greater defensive strength at the back, a weakness in the Frenchman's game as he has aged.

The Times' James Ducker says the ideal scenario for United would be if Evra stayed on at Old Trafford and rotated the left-back position with Shaw:

Either way, the move for Shaw so soon after the end of the season represents United's intent to bring in quality reinforcements over the summer.

Van Gaal, who was confirmed as David Moyes' successor on Monday, is clearly eager to make changes sooner rather than later to avoid the debacle of last summer, when United missed out on various key targets.

One of those targets was Real Madrid left-back Fabio Coentrao, whose proposed move to Old Trafford fell through at the 11th hour, per Graeme Yorke of the Daily Mail

However, Real manager Carlo Ancelotti seems to have ruled out any possibility that United may return for the Portuguese defender, per the club's official Twitter account:

But if the Shaw deal indeed is imminent, that should not be too much of a blow, as Alex Buttner also provides cover in the left-back position.

While Shaw would represent a solid initial signing for the Manchester outfit, they are going to have to bring in a handful of other players as they look to improve on a disastrous seventh-place finish in the Premier League this season.

Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand have both confirmed their exit from the club, so increased strength in the middle of the back four is vitally needed.

Furthermore, the central midfield positions have been weak for many years now, and a world-class player in the middle of the park is essential. United must be expected to be big movers in the transfer market as the summer progresses.