A major overhaul of the Manchester United squad looks poised to continue right up until this summer's transfer window comes to a dramatic close on Monday evening.
Louis van Gaal's side retains its furious links with numerous European stars, each of whom require a substantial investment from the Red Devils in order to ensure their moves.
We break down those latest big-money deals said to be on Van Gaal's radar, with a special emphasis on the Dutchman filling in his midfield divisions.
The Arturo Vidal saga will at last come to a halt—temporarily, at the very least—this week, as United refuse to give up on their pursuit of the Chilean international.
Rob Shepherd of the Daily Mail suggests the Red Devils will increase a previous offer of £30 million and offer Juventus £35 million for their midfield titan in a final attempt to land their long-term target.
Before Angel Di Maria's move to Old Trafford was sealed, Van Gaal hinted at his admiration for Vidal, per the Independent's Tom Sheen:
When a transfer has been finished then we can say something. But now you have to wait and see. When the moment is there Manchester United shall announce it. It is not only Di Maria, maybe Vidal or Messi! We are a big club. The club always has to announce, and when we think it is the right time we will come to you and say, ‘OK, we have bought this player or that player’. At this time we can’t say anything but I like Di Maria.
Nik Postinger of We Play insists the Bianconeri general is precisely what's needed at United:
Vidal has been imperious at the heart of Juve's midfield. One shot off the post and another off the line. The player #MUFC desperately need.— Nik Postinger (@nikpostinger) August 30, 2014
Without a win to their name this season, central midfield is certainly an area in which the Red Devils could use reinforcements, struggling to build any real cutting edge in attack, especially.
All summer long, Vidal has been spoken of as a priority Manchester United target, and just as he was on July 1, the South American looks set to end this window in the headlines.
The deal to bring Daley Blind to Old Trafford is nearing its completion, according to the Telegraph's Jason Burt, who said a £13.8 million deal will be sealed in the days to come.
Quoting Van Gaal in the wake of United's 0-0 draw at Burnley, the Dutch boss said: "He shall come to Manchester to have his medical and then we shall have a new player. You have to wait and have belief that it will happen. Every word that a manager says at this moment when you have two from nine points is one word too much.”
Blind will become United's fifth signing of the summer—pending work permit and third-party complications with Marcos Rojo's purchase—giving the side an asset able to feature on both the left side of defence and midfield.
Eredivisie writer Elko Born quoted Ajax coach Frank de Boer in saying United weren't the only club interested:
Frank de Boer: 'Inter were interested in Blind as well, but he didn't want to go there. He wanted a club that gave him a good feeling'— Elko Born (@Elko_B) August 30, 2014
Blind was an integral member of Van Gaal's Netherlands team that ran to third place at the 2014 World Cup, and his reunited coach will hope to get even more out of his asset at club level.
Nigel De Jong
Blind may not be the only Dutch figure arriving at United in the days to come, however, as talk of Nigel de Jong moving to Old Trafford starts to pick up momentum.
The Daily Star Sunday (h/t 101GreatGoals) claimed the Red Devils are waiting for Milan to release their midfielder so that he may travel to Manchester on Sunday, with the former Manchester City anchor on the verge of joining the city's other giants.
Although Vidal may be the most expensive deal on the table, The Guardian's Nooruddean Choudry believes De Jong would still give Van Gaal something his side are lacking in:
De Jong would be great at United simply because he wouldn't wave opposition players by with a wink and a smile.— Nooruddean (@BeardedGenius) August 30, 2014
For some, the £10 million fee would appear a cheap settlement in order for United to plug a major fissure in their squad, but De Jong's talents may indeed allow him to do well.
United fans may be apprehensive about a former Citizen joining their cause, but such is the doubt at the club that any and all routes must be taken into account.