Manchester United Transfer News: Major Signings Targeted by Louis Van Gaal

Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistJune 1, 2014

AS Roma midfielder Kevin Strootman, of the Netherlands, celebrates after scoring during the Serie A soccer match between AC Milan and Roma at the San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy, Monday, Dec. 16, 2013. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)
Antonio Calanni/Associated Press

Louis van Gaal's main focus right now may be with the Netherlands and their hopes of triumphing at this summer's World Cup, but that hasn't stopped a whirlwind of transfer speculation engulfing Old Trafford of late.

The Dutchman's first transfer window at the helm of the club is set to be a difficult one, involving a mass of change in squad personnel following a dismal campaign by the Red Devils' usual standards.

Read on for the latest on all those major signings to have become linked with the English giants, with targets both old and new supposedly edging into United's eyesight.


Luke Shaw, Southampton

Sang Tan/Associated Press

It's no secret that Manchester United have been viewing Southampton's Luke Shaw as their main priority at left-back, and the England international may yet join the club before this summer's World Cup.

The Daily Mail's Rob Shepherd claimed that a £27 million move for the defender is supposed go through "in the next few days."

Shaw spoke to FourFourTwo's James Maw in April, praising the influence of former manager Mauricio Pochettino, with whom he would have built up a strong relationship over the past 18 months:

He's had a massive impact. He's helped me improve not just on the pitch, but off it as well. It's a hard thing for a young player like me to be involved in the first team – espcially with the England stuff – but he's helped me massively and I feel I can keep on improving with him as my manager.

His training methods are very intense and that's really helped me with my fitness and strength. When I was younger I always used to get cramp around the 75th minute, but now in matches I feel fitter and stronger and am able to go the whole 90 minutes.

With the Argentine recently confirmed as the successor to Tim Sherwood at Tottenham, the Saints' grip on Shaw may have loosened slightly of late, assuredly working in United's favour when it comes to sealing a swift deal.


Joao Miranda, Atletico Madrid

Shepherd also detailed that Atletico Madrid centre-back Joao Miranda is being looked at as one part of a new-look defence under Van Gaal.

Emilio Morenatti/Associated Press

The Daily Star's Rhys Turrell reported last week that the Red Devils had chosen to trigger the defender's £24 million release clause, but there is so far yet to be any official developments in the deal.

ESPN FC's Dermot Corrigan quoted Atletico CEO Miguel Angel Gil Marin as saying that Los Rojiblancos are in no dire need to sell off their most prized assets:

Fortunately this club does not need to sell any of its players. Those who do not want to continue with us we can only go along with their release clause in their contracts.

We are not going to negotiate with other clubs about the departure of players we want to stay in our team. We do not want, nor do we need, to sell any player. Whoever wants to leave Atletico must do so against the wishes of Atletico.

The Madrid outfit lost to local rivals Real in the final of this season's Champions League, but their La Liga triumph came largely thanks to them boasting the strongest back line in the division, with 29-year-old Miranda raking in a sizeable portion of the resulting plaudits.


Kevin Strootman, Roma

He may not be featuring at this year's World Cup, but crocked anchorman Kevin Strootman is nonetheless drawing the attention of his international boss this summer.

Peter Dejong/Associated Press

The Express' John Richardson wrote that Strootman is Van Gaal's "No. 1 priority" in midfield, so much so that he's hoping Roma are tempted into selling despite the fact he's not expected to be fit until autumn.

Speaking to Dutch television station NOS in May (h/t's Alex Young), Van Gaal hinted that a move for Strootman may be in the offing:

"Success at United doesn't depend on money, but about which players we bring in. I gave my wish list to the club. Is Kevin Strootman on it? A question for you, a fact for me."

However, Tancredi Palmeri of beIN Sports suggests that Roma are not interested in a sale:

Strootman has excelled for the Giallorossi when fit since moving from PSV Eindhoven last summer, and although United were linked with his signature back then, Van Gaal's arrival at the helm may be the turning point in seeing the transfer finally come to fruition.