German international Bastian Schweinsteiger has become Manchester United's top target as the club look to rebuild after last season's miserable failure.
Matt Lawton of the Mail Online reports that 29-year-old Schweinsteiger "is thought to be keen on joining his former boss Louis van Gaal at Old Trafford."
Van Gaal is the man credited for switching the player from a wide-attacking talent into the defensive maestro he is today, and it appears he sees the German as the immediate answer to United's problems.
Lawton writes that United could get the player for as little as £15 million after turning their back on previous target Cesc Fabregas.
Football editor for the Guardian and Observer, Marcus Christenson, believes Schweinsteiger is a realistic target for the Red Devils and that Van Gaal can complete the signing.
He said, via Twitter:
The news of United's interest arrives after Brazilian legend Cafu described Schweinsteiger as Germany's most important player at the World Cup.
Speaking to Kicker about Brazil's rivals for the big prize this summer the former full-back said, per Enis Koylu of Goal.com:
Germany have a strong team who have performed well recently. Along with Brazil they're among the favourites. What impresses me most is Bastian Schweinsteiger. He is a complete player who has been an enormous help to his team, Bayern.
Despite the thoughts that Pep Guardiola wants to move Schweinsteiger on, per Alex Richards of the Mirror, Schweinsteiger featured prominently for Bayern last year.
The midfielder played in 31 Bundesliga and Champions league games, starting 29 times, per WhoScored.com.
He also provided a return of seven goals and four assists from his defensive berth, figures not achieved by a central midfielder at Old Trafford for many years.
When considering United's transfer options, Schweinsteiger makes perfect sense for Van Gaal and the club. At 29 years old, he has the immediate world-class experience that United require and will give Van Gaal a solid and technical base to build around over the next few seasons.
Schweinsteiger would be fine adapting to life in the Premier League and knows the way that LvG likes to play. His skill set dictates that he would add leadership and quality to a team that desperately needs it after a hard 12 months.
United's central midfield has relied on Michael Carrick for too long and, presuming that Van Gaal will employ his favoured 4-3-3 when he starts his job after the World Cup, the club will require a player like the German in the system.
At £15 million, Schweinsteiger would be phenomenal business and will allow United to pool their financial resources to purchase other world-class players.