Which areas do they need to strengthen?
With an attacking line-up that includes Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie, Radamel Falcao, Angel di Maria, Juan Mata and Adnan Januzaj it doesn’t take a genius to work out that United’s problems lie further back on the pitch.
Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones have shown glimpses of quality but injuries have hampered their impact this season, while the same problems have blighted the early United careers of Luke Shaw and Marcos Rojo.
The same can be said of Daley Blind and Ander Herrera, so Van Gaal will also be on the lookout for midfield reinforcements.
Who have they been linked with?
Mats Hummels, Ron Vlaar, Bruno Martins Indi, Raphael Varane, Ryan Shawcross, Nathaniel Clyne, Kevin Strootman, Arturo Vidal, Marco Reus, Ilkay Gundogan, Diego Godin, Gareth Bale, Tim Krul etc, etc
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Nathaniel Clyne (Southampton)
Like many a United defender, current right back Rafael is either injured or underwhelming when fit.
Clyne has been hugely impressive for both Southampton and England in recent months and would be a welcome replacement for the frustrating Brazilian.
Check out this strike by the right back courtesy of Southampton FC’s YouTube channel:
Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund)
United’s need for an experienced centre back with leadership qualities is plain to see and Dortmund’s World Cup-winning captain is the obvious choice.
BVB are obviously reluctant to sell but with Jurgen Klopp’s side struggling big time this season and Hummels himself branding the club “pathetic” the move looks more likely than it has in the past.
Raphael Varane (Real Madrid)
United have a few young centre backs on the books but none has really shown enough to convince that they can hold down a place at the heart of the Red Devils’ defence for years to come.
Varane has been hugely impressive for Real since making his debut but has found himself out of favour this season. A partnership with Hummels over the coming years would surely appeal to the Frenchman as much as it would United’s fans.
Neven Subotic (Borussia Dortmund)
United are looking for a Vidic replacement at Borussia Dortmund but could be better served focusing on their former captain’s international team mate Subotic.
Subotic is out of contract next year and would cost considerably less than his BVB colleague Hummels. The Serbian has struggled for form since returning from injury but is a proven centre back with a knack for scoring.
With BVB having a torrid season but hell bent on keeping Hummels, Subotic could prove a much easier target to acquire.
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