Louis van Gaal has already handed Manchester United a list of transfer targets, according to Jamie Jackson of the Guardian.
The Dutchman is understandably interested in significantly improving a squad that struggled to seventh in the Premier League last year without making much impact in any cup competition.
Players such as Mats Hummels, Ezequiel Garay and William Carvalho have consistently been linked with the club, but as the transfer season heats up, United are yet to confirm any deal.
Instead, here's the latest news on all three aforementioned players.
Latest on Manchester United's Potential Transfer Targets
In: Mats Hummels, Borussia Dortmund
Herman Hummels, the player's father and agent, has confirmed his son is happy at Dortmund despite rumours linking him to Old Trafford. As reported by Warren Haughton of talkSPORT, the centre-back's representative acknowledged he knows Van Gaal well, but that the World Cup remains Mats' only focus:
I know Louis van Gaal from his time at Bayern Munich. He's not contacted me about Mats moving to Manchester (United) though. I have heard some rumours but Mats is happy at Dortmund at the moment, and only thinking about the World Cup.
Hummels Jr. previously highlighted his commitment to the Westfalenstadion club by saying Dortmund have done "something special" over the past few years, per Bild and via Stephan Uersfeld of ESPN FC. The strong-minded defender confirmed he doesn't "waste any thoughts" on leaving the club he permanently joined in 2009.
While United certainly need centre-back replacements after losing Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand, Hummels has yet to show any indication he is anything less than 100 percent devoted to the Dortmund cause.
In: Ezequiel Garay, Benfica
News across the continent indicates any lingering chance of United signing Garay has ended. He "is set for a big-money move" to Zenit Saint Petersburg according to Oliver Harbord of the Mirror, who believes Andre Villas-Boas has secured the deal for €20 million.
Duncan Castles of the Sunday Times indicates a smaller fee has been set, but that a deal is imminent:
Garay previously hinted a move may happen during the summer. Speaking to A Bola, reported via Paulo Freitas of Sky Sports, the Argentinian defender said, "I don't know, we'll see," when asked if he is to leave Portugal.
The powerful defender can be expected to take a leading role in Argentina's quest for World Cup glory. At 27 years old, the reported fees represent excellent value for money. Garay has been around the block at Newell's Old Boys, Racing Santander and Real Madrid before moving to Benfica, suggesting his experience and dominant style would be welcome at United.
In: William Carvalho, Sporting Lisbon
Further disappointing news harbours in Portugal, where it seems Carvalho has confirmed his desire to stay in Liga Sagres. Consistently linked with securing a United deal across previous months, Carvalho doesn't appear to be overly keen, reported by Charles Perrin of the Express:
"My future is set," said Carvalho. "I will return to Sporting after the World Cup. I'm a Sporting player to 2018. Everything else is just speculation."
A powerhouse in midfield and still developing at the age of 22, Angolan-born Carvalho has the potential to run Van Gaal's centre. His defensive-minded nature would suit United fine, as it's been too long since the club employed a world-class unit who can intimidate just in front of the defence.
Michael Carrick lacks the physicality to do this in big games, suggesting someone of Carvalho's bulk and build is needed. It will be interesting to see if such a player even features on Van Gaal's transfer hitlist, as Garay and Carvalho are two hangover targets from the David Moyes era.
This article suggests United's summer could go the same way as last year. A handful of key targets are sure to be missed, but it is unlikely Van Gaal will let the market close without tying up a handful of quality stars from around Europe.
It's still early days, and with the new boss currently concluding his Netherlands work, there's plenty of graft to be done. Considering everyone knows United need to quickly improve their squad, it's fair to say efforts to improve the team are just beginning.
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