With Louis van Gaal deep into his World Cup preparations with the Netherlands, Manchester United continue to scour the transfer market ahead of the manager's arrival this summer.
A host of names are being linked with the Red Devils as the club look to rebuild their defence after the exits of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand, as well as addressing their dilapidated midfield department.
Here is a look at three names currently linked to the former champions:
Jordi Alba and Luke Shaw
With Luke Shaw's mooted transfer to Old Trafford hanging in the balance, United have focused their attentions on Barcelona left-back Jordi Alba.
Ben Smith of BBC Sport reports that Southampton will not allow any more players to leave the club until they have appointed a new manager, but Smith also claims Shaw informed his club of his intention to leave for United on the final day of last season.
Malata continues that reports in Spain now indicate that Alba is a primary target for Van Gaal and that United will make their move for the player.
Alba was at Barcelona as a child when Van Gaal was in charge at the Camp Nou, and the Dutchman gave the defender advice as to how he should play at an awards dinner, per Malata.
Alba featured just 15 times for Barcelona in La Liga last season due to injury, per Squawka, and with a change in management at the Camp Nou, might be given licence to find a new team.
If Shaw forces his way out of Southampton, it is likely this will only be after the World Cup, leaving United to look at options elsewhere in the meantime. Former United skipper Bryan Robson hopes the Red Devils remain patient, as tweeted by James Robson of Manchester Evening News:
Bryan Robson on Luke Shaw: “I think he’s a very good young player, he has vast potential,” #MUFC— James Robson (@JamesRobsonMEN) June 2, 2014
Shaw is the most outstanding left-sided defensive prospect in England, and United's pursuit of the player suggests they still want him. The timing of the World Cup was always going to cause issues for players on duty in Brazil, and the Red Devils will be wise to show patience, capturing their man when he returns home.
Alba is a wonderful left-back, and his past links with Van Gaal might be key in any deal to bring the player to Old Trafford. But in comparison, Shaw's potential is vast. United missed out on one Southampton prospect a few years back—Gareth Bale—and they will not want to fall foul of such an error once more.
Manchester United target Arturo Vidal could be on his way to La Liga to join reigning champions Atletico Madrid.
Spanish newspaper AS reports that Atletico have made enquiries about the availability of the midfield superstar as they look to replace Tiago.
AS claims Diego Simeone's club have contacted Vidal's agent, Fernando Felicevich, and will continue talks with him in the near future.
Which left-back should Manchester United try to sign?
United have been looking for a midfielder of Vidal's standing for some time, and if Atletico are given a green light by his agent to pursue the player, it is likely the English club would try to hijack any deal.
If Vidal comes onto the market, you can expect a bidding war of epic proportions to occur. He is without doubt one of the best central midfielders in the world right now, and if Chile perform well in Brazil, his profile and stock will rise even further.