Louis van Gaal is expected to exploit his Dutch connections in a move for PSV attacker Memphis Depay as he continues to remodel Manchester United's squad.
This summer has already seen the Red Devils seal the signatures of Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera, and Mike Keegan of BBC Sport says Depay is attracting the club's attention:
Staying with #mufc and Dutch players, believe club are monitoring Memphis Depay. Any move could see him loaned out for first year.— Mike Keegan (@mikekeeganbbc) July 24, 2014
The loaning back of the Netherlands international is a key factor in the potential deal, meaning Depay would supposedly not have any impact at Old Trafford until the 2015-16 campaign.
The 20-year-old scored twice in four appearances for the Oranje as Van Gaal led the Dutch national team to third place at the 2014 World Cup. This led to Depay's nomination for the tournament's Best Young Player award, per Daily Mail Online:
FIFA Best Young Player nominees: Depay, Pogba, Varane http://t.co/0cBw5M6Kyd— MailOnline Sport (@MailSport) July 11, 2014
PSV manager Phillip Cocu has urged his winger to reject any talk of a move to the English top flight, telling Dutch outlet Voetbal International (h/t Daily Express' Ben Jefferson) that Depay's development is best served in his native Holland:
No one has contacted us and he has a contract [until 2017] here so we should not get ahead of ourselves. I let Memphis know that it would good for him to have another year here. He has only one full season behind him. I think you need a certain foundation before making the next step.
That is independent of the qualities that a person has. Therefore, he must stay at PSV at least one more year. There is no concrete interest so I'm assuming he will report for pre-season training later.
Central midfield and left-back have both been addressed to some extent this summer, but the wings are one area still requiring reinforcement at United.
Nani, Ashley Young, Antonio Valencia and Wilfried Zaha all endured lacklustre form during the 2013-14 season, and Depay could be a wise long-term investment in a problem position.
Young and Valencia impressed in United's most recent pre-season outing, a 7-0 routing of LA Galaxy in which the former netted twice.
Adnan Januzaj is another youngster looking to make further progress in the first team, while Zaha this week told the official United website (h/t Sky Sports) he's hoping for a new lease of life under Van Gaal:
It's great to be back. There's a nice vibe, everybody's working hard and we're looking forward to the new season. Going to Cardiff was a really good experience for me. I managed to get quite a few games under my belt at Premier League level, which was good, and I feel like I've come back a better player.
I've realised there are things about my game I need to work on and concentrate on and I know this is the best place to be if I want to improve. I really want to make myself a better player.
It's unknown as of yet whether the club's new helmsman has serious plans at Old Trafford for the former Crystal Palace star, and Depay's arrival would provide more competition for places on the flank.
Eredivisie specialist Michiel Jongsma has previously tipped the PSV wunderkind for future greatness, highlighting his physical assets as a particularly strong attribute in his game:
@GoRakGo I think Robben is a bit more intelligent, but Depay physically is just a phenomenon. Pretty sure he'll become world class one day.— Michiel Jongsma (@JongsmaJongsma) July 8, 2014
Van Gaal's tactical priorities have already translated to United, the former Bayern Munich strategist utilising a three-man defence with wing-backs providing further assistance to those further ahead.
As such, talents of Depay's type will assuredly be of vital significance at United in the club's new era, although Van Gaal's tactics will receive a first test when the 2014-15 Premier League term kicks off in three weeks' time.
Depay will already have an existing connection with Van Gaal from their time in the Netherlands setup, the manager unsurprisingly showing a preference for his compatriots in this summer's transfer speculation.
That being said, Van Gaal is yet to sign any of the Dutch players linked with his new outfit, meaning Depay could be the first of many to join Manchester United's revolution.