Louis van Gaal has already shown himself to be more decisive in the transfer market than his predecessor and is expected to continue to overhaul the Manchester United squad this summer. While David Moyes dithered other potential targets a year ago, Van Gaal, despite being in the midst of a World Cup campaign with the Netherlands, has given the green light for the signatures of Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw -- two players identified during the Moyes era.
Predictably United continue to be linked with members of Van Gaal’s current Netherlands squad. Arjen Robben, Bruno Martins Indi and Kevin Strootman -- ruled out of the World Cup through injury -- are among the Dutch players to have been suggested as targets. Another is Memphis Depay. The 20-year-old winger scored after coming on as a substitute against both Australia and Chile in the group stage and then also made a positive impression after being introduced as the Netherlands overturned a 1-0 deficit to Mexico in the Round of 16. United are among a host of Premier League clubs to be linked with the PSV Eindhoven starlet, but Depay insists he will make a decision on his future after the World Cup.
“Of course I've read that Manchester United, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur are interested,” he told Dutch publication Algemeen Dagblad, according to Sky Sports. “But no more than that.
“I'll see later. My agent Kees Ploegsma is here [in Brazil] too, but we are not talking about that kind of stuff. That is for after the World Cup.”
The Daily Mail, meanwhile, appear confident that Depay’s Netherlands teammate Stefan de Vrij will be making his way to Old Trafford. The 22-year-old Feyenoord defender has started every match for the Netherlands so far in Brazil and is said to be close to a £7 million deal to take him to United.
Van Gaal will certainly be on the lookout for central defenders following the departures of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand. It seems more likely, though, that one of those arriving will be Arsenal’s Thomas Vermaelen. There were reports that United had a £6 million bid rejected recently for the out-of-favor Gunners skipper. ESPN believes that a transfer for the Belgium international is likely to go through in the coming weeks.
Manchester United are also thought to have their eye on some bigger deals. Speculation refuses to go away linking the club with a move for Juventus’s Arturo Vidal. The 27-year-old, who tasted heartbreak as part of the Chile team that lost to Brazil on penalties at the World Cup on Saturday, has become arguably the world’s best all-round midfielder and would instantly transform what has been a problem area for United for several seasons.
Italian publication Tuttosport has claimed that of all his possible destinations, including Real Madrid and Chelsea, Vidal would be most keen on moving to Old Trafford, despite at least a temporary absence from the Champions League. Prizing him away from Juventus, though, is likely to be a major hurdle, with the Italian champions thought to have no intention of selling one of their key players.
Manchester United also carry an interest on Vidal’s Chile teammate Alexis Sanchez, according to Catalan publication Mundo Deportivo. The forward, who can play wide or through the middle, has had a fine World Cup, but his future at Barcelona remains uncertain. Liverpool have been mostly strongly linked, and it is widely thought that Barcelona are prepared to use Sanchez as a makeweight in a deal for Luis Suarez.