Manchester United are ready to confirm the signing of Daley Blind on transfer deadline day and are already lining up Kevin Strootman for a January move, according to Monday's press.
Louis van Gaal confirmed Blind's medical after watching his side draw 0-0 with Burnley in yet another disappointing display, per United's Twitter account. Matt Lawton of the Daily Mail believes this is now complete, and that the player "just needs to agree personal terms, which is expected to be a formality."
Blind described his celebrations after realising a deal had been agreed between United and Ajax, per Mark Ogden of The Telegraph:
I got a call on Friday night that the clubs had agreed a deal. I was with my girlfriend and we went to my parents to drink a glass of wine. I am enormously proud to be at one of the biggest clubs in the world. Everything has happened so suddenly. What exactly has gone off in the background, only my agent and my dad know, but it was a very exciting and tense time.
How many signings will Louis van Gaal make on transfer deadline day?
The Dutch invasion at United is gathering pace alongside the news Blind could be joined by international team-mate Strootman when the next transfer window opens, per Ogden. Strootman must regain full fitness and form before United launch a bid, meaning any interest this summer is likely to be quelled until January.
Van Gaal previously confirmed he is monitoring the player's progress, but Roma boss Rudi Garcia indicated he will need a "three digit" sum to tear the combative midfielder away from the Italian capital, per The Telegraph.
Strootman became a key figure of Van Gaal's Netherlands team and was set for a starring role in the World Cup before succumbing to injury.
He offers everything United's midfield currently lacks. Strootman is an intelligent passer of the ball and will crunch into opponents to win possession. He can burst from box to box or play a more disciplined role on the halfway line.
The 24-year-old is also used to shielding defences and bringing the ball up the pitch from deep, acting as the starting point for attacking moves.
United's link to Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal has simmered down in recent times, per ESPN, while the club's interest in Strootman could also see potential moves for Nigel de Jong and William Carvalho dismissed. Stuart Mathieson of the Manchester Evening News certainly doesn't expect any further additions to the Old Trafford squad:
Unless something out of left field believe Blind will be last in. #mufc not going for de Jong, Vidal or Carvalho.— Stuart Mathieson (@StuMathiesonMEN) August 31, 2014
Supporters will be extremely disappointed if this proves to be the case. United desperately need midfield and centre-back additions, especially now Shinji Kagawa has returned to Borussia Dortmund and Tom Cleverley is expected to exit, per Simon Jones of the Daily Mail.
Players such as De Jong—experienced battlers who won't set the club back a major sum—should be targeted.
Of course, United's deadline activity could yet ramp up. Reports suggest the Red Devils have bid for Monaco forward Radamel Falcao, per Tancredi Palmeri of beINsports:
JUST IN: 10 minutes ago Manchester United submitted an undisclosed bid to Monaco for Falcao— Tancredi Palmeri (@tancredipalmeri) August 31, 2014
Manchester City remain favourites for the player's signature, while Arsenal are also said to be tracking the striker, per Joe Short of the Express. DIRECTV Sports and Terra Colombia journalist Saris Bello believes a deal is in place between United and Falcao, per Get French Football News (via 101 Great Goals):
According to Bello, Falcao is moving to Old Trafford on a four year deal for €65 million. Moreover, Man City’s attempts to sign Falcao have come to an end due to restrictions placed on the Citizens by Financial Fair Play rules.
It is further being claimed that Falcao will have a medical on Monday ahead of his United move, and the forward will become the highest paid player in the Premier League once he becomes a Red Devil.
Such a signing overlooks United's obvious needs, but would be spectacular nonetheless.
Javier Hernandez's likely loan move to Real Madrid, reported by Sky Sports' Guillem Balague, means Van Gaal could be eyeing up another goalscorer.
United have netted just three times in four competitive matches this season, while Van Gaal lamented his side's inability to take chances after the recent 0-0 draw with Burnley, per United's website.
Falcao's destination could depend on whether City can offload Alvaro Negredo to Valencia on loan, reported by David McDonnell of the Mirror. Although not an essential signing for United, the Colombian's presence would undoubtedly provide a boost of confidence to all at the club.
Van Gaal should aim to address the basics on transfer deadline day. It is well documented the squad lacks midfield bite and defensive solidity, meaning the manager would be smart to invest in low-risk signings.
Proven stars such as De Jong can certainly lend a massive hand until longer-term acquisitions, such as Strootman or Vidal, are decided upon.
We can expect speculation to develop rapidly right up until Monday's 11 p.m deadline. Van Gaal's ability to make further signings in the final hours could define his first season at the club, as David Moyes found out last year.