Manchester United Transfer News: World-Class Names Linked to Louis Van Gaal

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistJune 22, 2014

Inter Milan's Fredy Guarin of Colombia celebrates after scoring a goal during a Serie A soccer match against Parma, at Parma's Tardini stadium, Italy, Saturday, April 19, 2014. (AP Photo/Marco Vasini)
Marco Vasini/Associated Press

The Netherlands' strong start to this summer's World Cup is poised to keep Louis van Gaal's priorities with the national team slightly longer than Manchester United might have hoped.

The Oranje boss will take over at Old Trafford once his work in Brazil has come to an end, but based on current form, the Dutchman has some time before the Red Devils become his priority.

Even with United's helmsman on foreign shores, speculation continues to suggest that the English giants have a busy summer ahead, with a selection of world-class talents appearing in this week's headlines.


Fredy Guarin, Inter

Paolo Giovannini/Associated Press

The hunt to sign Inter's Fredy Guarin may be over before it has even begun for Manchester United after Tuttosport (via the Express' Alex Harris) revealed that the Colombian international prefers a move to Juventus.

Guarin came close to a Turin transfer back in January, and after a move failed to materialise, he told the official Inter website (via FourFourTwo) that he was ready to put the ordeal behind him and concentrate on his Inter duties:

It was a sign, of an important destiny. It was the second time that it happened. Even when I arrived at Inter, I had the opportunity to go to Turin and the fact that for a second time I am here, that is something important.

What has happened has happened and is in the past. I have always been close to the fans, I feel the things that are done with their heart and I understand them. I always look at it as something positive - it's great to see the strength our fans give us, both when they do positively and indeed negatively, because it's always added motivation for me.

Although obviously I'm never happy when they're not. There are lots of things I want to improve - the first is my consistency on the pitch so I can play a whole game at a high tempo with the right focus.

Despite that statement, it would appear the versatile midfield figure hasn't yet given up on his hope of joining Antonio Conte's project with the Bianconeri.

That being said, Van Gaal looks set to throw Manchester United's name into the mix, where Guarin would offer an alternative to the likes of Tom Cleverley and Darren Fletcher in the middle of the park.


Nigel de Jong, Milan

The latest name from within the Dutch national team's ranks to become associated with an Old Trafford move is that of Nigel de Jong, whom the Mirror's Steve Bates says is now a priority for Van Gaal this summer.

Wong Maye-E/Associated Press

De Jong has played every minute of Holland's World Cup campaign thus far after winning Milan's Player of the Year award for 2013-14.

The midfield anchor was said to be closing in on a San Siro exit following Clarence Seedorf's replacement at the club's helm by Filippo Inzaghi, but speaking to the official Milan website (h/t ESPN FC's Ben Gladwell), De Jong insists all is well:

I'm happy in Milan and I have no problems staying next season, even if the coach has changed. And since this is not the right time to talk about club matters, but only about the World Cup, all I can do is give assurances that I have not asked to leave Milan and that I feel perfectly fine there.

Now, let me concentrate on the destiny of the Oranjes and absolutely not on transfer speculation.

Despite his on-pitch reputation as something of a thug, OptaJohan illustrates how the ex-Manchester City man's ways may have changed down the years:

United fans would perhaps hope to see De Jong contribute some of the bite they would have been expecting from Marouane Fellaini's acquisition last summer, with a lack of physical presence still evident in the Red Devils' engine room.


Thomas Vermaelen, Arsenal

Contrary to rumours, Thomas Vermaelen has rejected reports that he has already agreed to a move to Old Trafford, per Chisanga Malata of the Daily Star:

I know there has been a lot of talk and a lot of rumours but the only thing I can say is that it's not true. Everybody understands my situation at Arsenal and that I have one year left.

I understand that people are going to talk but I am here in Brazil and I am enjoying my time and I'm focused on what I am doing.

We talk a lot when I am at Arsenal but it's not what I am going to discuss here, it is something you are going to have to ask him.

However, the Daily Mail's Adam Crafton proclaims that the transfer has been all but finalised, including a mention of the fee that United are set to pay:

Vermaelen has fallen out of favour at the Emirates Stadium, unable to find his place at centre-back in front of Laurent Koscielny or Per Mertesacker, but one can imagine his signing to be of some worth if his best form can be rediscovered.