The latest Manchester United transfer news features positive developments in the club's pursuit of Arturo Vidal and Angel Di Maria. They are two of the marquee stars new boss Louis van Gaal has identified as crucial to his rebuilding plan.
If the Red Devils can secure either one of Vidal or Di Maria, Van Gaal's rebuilding plan won't take very long at all to reach fruition.
Angel Di Maria, Winger/Attacking Midfielder, Real Madrid
The chances of signing Di Maria have increased following news he will snub the advances of Paris Saint-Germain.
That's according to Spanish publication AS (h/t Daily Mirror reporter David Anderson):
Spanish daily AS claims PSG were rebuffed when they enquired about Di Maria to Real Madrid over the weekend.
Apparently, the word back from the Argentinian World Cup winger was that he would prefer a move to the Premier League.
However this still leaves an obstacle for United to overcome because Di Maria is said to want Champions League football next season.
Anderson's piece and the reports from Spain echo the rumours emerging in France. L'Equipe (h/t Get French Football News) stresses there is no agreement between Di Maria and PSG.
That's a terrific boost to United. Di Maria would be a true prize at Old Trafford. He offers tremendous direct pace and an abundance of creative flair.
Those are qualities the Red Devils certainly lacked last season under the hapless David Moyes. That meant there weren't enough players to complement skilled strikers Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie.
That pairing is still as good as any in the game, but the duo must receive regular and quality supply this season.
Di Maria is certainly the man to provide it when you consider his 22 assists for Real Madrid last season, per WhoScored.com. Many of those came when Los Blancos' chief Carlo Ancelotti moved the Argentina international into a central position.
Di Maria's versatility will certainly appeal to Van Gaal. The experienced strategist loves the flexibility to play different formations. Di Maria could work as a supporting striker, winger or natural attacking midfielder.
Of course, all of that depends on United's ability to convince the 26-year-old to forgo UEFA Champions League football this season. Anderson states Van Gaal will try and persuade Di Maria that United's spell away from Europe's top table will be very brief.
Arturo Vidal, Midfielder, Juventus
Solving the problem of creativity is an important priority for Van Gaal. But most United fans would probably feel a lot better about the new season if the club finally reinforced the central midfield positions.
There is no better remedy to long-standing ills in those areas than Arturo Vidal. The Chile star offers everything a team looks for in a match-winning midfield general.
Vidal is a tireless workhorse who combines dynamism with energy, technical flair and gritty resolve. He also has a keen eye for goal. The 27-year-old bagged 18 goals for Juventus this season, per WhoScored.com.
Vidal's qualities are certainly worth a hefty price. That is just what Van Gaal and United are preparing to pay, according to Daily Mail reporter Simon Jones:
Manchester United are closing on Juventus' Chilean midfielder Arturo Vidal, who is valued at £35m.
Vidal has insisted he would love to play for one of the biggest clubs in the world and will sort his future when he arrives back from his holidays.
For £35 million, Van Gaal would get a player who would instantly become the fulcrum of his new-look team. Just like with Di Maria, Van Gaal could also make use of Vidal's versatility.
He can play a deep-lying role like the one he often operates in for Juve. But Vidal can also thrive hovering just off the forward line. He impressed there for Chile during the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
United shouldn't waste a moment moving for Vidal. Surely it's only a matter of time before other top-level managers realise what a bargain this player is (That means you Arsene Wenger).
Trio of Dutch Defenders Being Lined Up
Van Gaal will know that he cannot possibly overlook United's threadbare defence this summer. To that end, the man who guided the Netherlands at the World Cup is ready to target three of his national team defenders.
Manchester Evening News writer Stuart Mathieson claims Van Gaal is keen on the following players: "A number of Dutch internationals are also on the radar, such as Ajax left-back-cum-wing-back Daley Blind, while Feyenoord’s Stefan De Vrij and Bruno Martins Indi could also follow their World Cup coach to Old Trafford."
Blind is the most obvious choice amid current left-back Patrice Evra's desire to leave. The French veteran wants to be granted a move to Serie A giants Juventus, per BBC Sport reporter Simon Stone.
Blind would be a natural replacement. He is already well-versed in Van Gaal's tactical demands and style of play.
Meanwhile, De Vrij is a good option to try and fill the Nemanja Vidic- or Rio Ferdinand-shaped hole in the middle of United's defence. Van Gaal's connection should make at least one of this group a viable transfer.
United certainly appear determined to rid themselves of the memory of last season's nightmare. Luckily, Van Gaal is renowned for making quick starts at new clubs.
His first season in charge is usually a spectacular one, at least before his abrasive personality becomes a drain on players. But a thrilling beginning at United demands a number of top-class new recruits.
The names in the latest news certainly fit that bill. If Van Gaal lands either Di Maria or Vidal, United will be serious Premier League title contenders in his first year.