Louis van Gaal hasn't been Manchester United manager for a week yet, but the Netherlands boss has already seen roadblocks put in his pursuits of Bayern Munich's Arjen Robben and Yevhen Konoplyanka of Dnipro.
Robben has been loosely linked with a move to Old Trafford, where he would reunite with his national team manager, but Der FCB's talismanic winger spoke to Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf (h/t ESPN), stating in no unclear terms where he'll be playing his football next season:
That's not an option. I'm staying with Bayern Munich. Period. I cannot imagine why Bayern would want to lose me. I just renewed my contract and we are happy with each other.
It's very different when you're not completely happy. I had a fantastic time with Van Gaal at FC Bayern and know what I have with him. Van Gaal and Guardiola are the best trainers I have worked with. I feel good so will stay where I am. The chance is zero that I make the switch.
Clearly enjoying his football as part of the Bundesliga's strongest force, it would seem this is one avenue that the Red Devils can rule out early on, which at the very least gives them more time to concentrate their efforts elsewhere.
Speaking to Dutch television station SBS6 (h/t Goal.com's Peter McVitie), Robin van Persie reveals he would like to revive his Oranje partnership at club level:
We played quite well in the second half. I believe in this system - it is different, but it is one that creates opportunities. Would I be happy to play with Arjen Robben in attack? Yes, of course. He is a fantastic player and he can play anywhere.
Van Persie is correct in his assessment of Robben's versatility, and although the 30-year-old plays mostly on Bayern's right flank as an inverted winger, he's quite capable of switching to his more natural left wing or filling in behind the main striker.
That being said, his latest comments leave United in no uncertain state in regards to where they stand with his chances of moving to England.
It's an attraction that Manchester United are unsurprisingly looking to add to their own ranks, and Gordon Tynan of The Independent says that while a move for Toni Kroos is off, Robben could now be the Red Devils' main focus at the Allianz Arena.
After sealing a domestic double, Robben is quoted by the official Bundesliga Twitter account in giving his take on what it's like to be a big-game player, the exact kind of personality United are looking to add to their ranks:
But Van Gaal could yet make the thriftier move for Konoplyanka, according to Jamie Jackson of The Guardian, just a few months after it looked as though the Ukrainian was set for Anfield.
Jackson reports that Konoplyanka's buyout clause stands at €15 million (£12.1 million), adding that he is preferable of a move to Manchester rather than Merseyside.
However, Russian football writer Artur Petrosyan quotes the winger in saying that a lack of European football could be a deal-breaker:
Konoplyanka: "Man United? I'd rather stay at Dnipro and play in the Champions League".— Artur Petrosyan (@arturpetrosyan) May 23, 2014
Ayre should now just get the plane and go take the lad to Merseyside. Konoplyanka has not just done, but also said enough to deserve a move.— Artur Petrosyan (@arturpetrosyan) May 23, 2014
Both winger propositions would therefore appear difficult to obtain for United—Robben is unlikely to be allowed to simply leave his current Bundesliga setting, while Konoplyanka may not even want the move at all.
Van Gaal will have time to map out his transfer assault while away at the World Cup, and it's going to require a fierce approach to get his new club back to the days of old.