Manchester United Transfer News: Top Stars Eyed by Louis Van Gaal, Fresh Rumours

Stuart Newman@@StuNewmanSportFeatured ColumnistJanuary 23, 2016

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 13: Ryan Bertrand of Southampton looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Watford at St. Mary's Stadium on January 13, 2016 in Southampton, England.  (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
Ian Walton/Getty Images

Manchester United are reportedly plotting a sensational swoop for Southampton left-back Ryan Bertrand before the January transfer window slams shut.

That’s according to Jack Wilson of the Daily Star, who wrote that United’s injury crisis has twisted manager Louis van Gaal’s arm into going after the England international.

Covering full-back Ashley Young recently picked up a serious groin injury that will see him sidelined for the foreseeable future—per BBC Sport—which means that cover is desperately needed.

Cameron Borthwick-Jackson remains an option on the left side of defence, yet Van Gaal will hope for a more experienced pair of hands than the 18-year-old—and Bertrand looks a worthy candidate.

Darko Bandic/Associated Press

The 26-year-old joined Southampton on a permanent basis from Chelsea last year for a deal believed to be worth £10 million, although it seems United will have to stump up a lot more than that to secure his services.

Wilson suggested that the Saints will demand over £20 million for Bertrand in January, as they’re incredibly reluctant to let any of their first-team players depart.

Southampton do have the ever-impressive Matt Targett to fill in for Bertrand in the event of his departure, but convincing the former Chelsea man himself to leave will prove a task in itself.

The left-back told reporters back in November that his decision to leave a big club like the Stamford Bridge outfit and head to the south coast has done nothing but aid his progression (via Sami Mokbel of Daily Mail), and heading to Manchester United could see him take a step backwards.

Luke Shaw’s return from a broken leg would then likely put Bertrand back on the United bench and, consequently, seek a way out of Old Trafford.

Elsewhere, Italian outlet Tuttosport (via Uche Amako of Daily Express) is reporting that United are willing to pay £48.4 million for Paris Saint-Germain striker Edinson Cavani.

Cavani has been linked with a move to the Premier League for some time, and United’s lack of goalscoring prowess makes Old Trafford appear a logical destination.

Christophe Ena/Associated Press

Of course, landing a player of the Uruguayan’s calibre doesn’t come cheap, yet Tuttosport report that United will use the money from their huge Adidas sponsorship deal to stump up the necessary €64 million.

Landing a striker and a full-back in the January window looks imperative for United’s chances of finishing in the top four, and Bertrand and Cavani could prove the difference between the Champions League and Europa League.

Van Gaal’s men face crunch clashes against both Chelsea and Arsenal in February, where they’ll hope to demonstrate their credentials as top-four candidates.