Louis van Gaal probably isn’t that concerned about Manchester United at the moment. After his Netherlands team defeated Spain 5-1 in their opening game of the Brazil World Cup, the Dutchman’s mind will probably be focused more on matters to do with the Oranje than the Red Devils.
But the Old Trafford hierarchy would have well aware of that fact after appointing the 62-year-old, the onus will be on them to get the ball rolling when it comes to the club’s transfer dealings.
Ahead of Spain’s humbling by the Dutch, United goalkeeper David de Gea was quick to talk up his new boss, per Sky Sports:
He has won everything as a coach. He’s very good and I think he's going to bring a lot to Manchester United.
He will bring important and innovative ideas and I think he's going to be very good for us. He's going to help us a lot because he's going to bring a different style of play.
Indeed, things do look likely to change under the new boss, and it’d be naive to think the World Cup would halt their forays into the transfer market, too. The groundwork for deals quite simply must be put in place early if United are going to suitably bolster their creaking squad.
Here’s the very latest on the players Van Gaal could look to to spearhead his United renaissance.
Bastian Schweinsteiger Is United’s Top Target
Van Gaal has cited the German as the man to bring some much-needed steel to this Red Devils midfield, according to reports.
Schweinsteiger is a player who has been at Bayern Munich his entire career, but given that he’s not a natural fit for Pep Guardiola’s stylistic mantras, he could be on his way out of Bavaria this summer.
He could also be set to lose his place in the national side, as noted here by German football expert Jan Aage Fjortoft:
Germany will start with Lahm in midfield in this Tournament. Bad news for Schweinsteiger who hasn't been 100% though— Jan Aage Fjortoft (@JanAageFjortoft) June 10, 2014
According to Ian Herbert of The Independent, the Old Trafford outfit are willing to give Schweinsteiger a fresh start and would be willing to pay £25 million for the player. Here’s why Schweinsteiger as viewed as one of the game’s premier midfield players:
Even at 29 years of age, the German could bring so much to this United midfield. His drive, commitment, intelligence and intensity would provide a number of qualities that this Red Devils team is currently without. His relationship with Van Gaal and familiarity with his principles is also a major positive; the two worked together during Van Gaal’s spell as Bayern Munich boss.
Splashing £25 million on a player of Schweinsteiger’s calibre might seem a little excessive, but if Van Gaal does have a reported £200 million to spend, per Richard Tanner of the Express, then the signing of the German international wouldn’t put much of a dent into the Dutchman’s summer budget.
Alex Song Offered to Red Devils
The former Arsenal man could be on his way to Old Trafford after new Barcelona boss Luis Enrique has reportedly declared Song surplus to requirements. That’s according to Simon Jones of the Daily Mail online, who claims that United have been offered the chance to sign the player.
Song, who was powerless to prevent Cameroon losing their World Cup opener against Mexico, was a key figure during his time at the Gunners. His ability to marry intelligent passing and defensive steel made him a real hit with Arsene Wenger, and he earned a move to the Nou Camp on the back of some fine performances.
But since his move to Spain, Song has struggled for first-team football and subsequently has been unable to blossom. He is a player who is tailor-made for the Premier League, though, and if United were to get him on board, he’d do an astute job in their midfield.
Would United fans be looking for a bigger name? Perhaps, but Song is a versatile player accustomed to the rigours of Premier League football. If Van Gaal could bag him in a cut-price deal, then it’d be a very handy transfer.