John Stones Man United’s top target, with or without Van Gaal

Louis van Gaal’s future at Old Trafford may be up in the air but there is little uncertainty about the club’s transfer target.

That is according to the Manchester Evening News, who claim the Everton defender sits clear at the top of the wish list at the Red Devils, with the club set to target the Toffees star with a £45m deal.

However, the reports come at a time when other areas of the media suggest the club have put all transfer activity on the back burner until Van Gaal’s position is cleared up.

The Dutchman is under contract until 2017 but with pressure mounting the former Holland, Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss has hinted that he may leave early.

United have distanced themselves from reports that club officials have met with outgoing Bayern boss Pep Guardiola but it seems whoever in charge is likely to have Stones at their disposal.

According to the MEN, United scouts have been following Stones all season and believe he is the right man to replace the likes of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic at the heart of the Red Devils defence for years to come.

United’s current defence will be put to the test against an  attack-minded Southampton side this weekend, with Ronald Koeman’s free-flowing Saints the visitors to Old Trafford.

United go into the game as 17/20 favourites, with the visitors on at 7/2 and the draw available at 23/10.

For all their problems this year United have looked pretty solid at the back but anything less than another solid rearguard performance will only see talk of a Stones move increase.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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