Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has assigned executive chairman Ed Woodward the task of signing Germany internationals Mats Hummels, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Thomas Muller during the World Cup finals. The trio will cost in excess of £100 million, but United are prepared to spend big in order to become a competitive force in the Premier League once more.
The onus has fallen on Woodward to get the deals over the line, with Van Gaal currently busy with the Netherlands national team. The 62-year-old will step down from his position as the Oranje head coach after the team exit this summer’s showpiece international tournament, which gets underway on Thursday.
However, Woodward faces a difficult job to secures the signatures of any of the three German players, according to the Daily Mail. Borussia Dortmund are determined to hold on to star centre-back Hummels, while Muller and Schweinsteiger both have long contracts at the Allianz Arena and will subsequently be difficult to prise away from the Bundesliga champions.
However, it’s believed Muller feels marginalised under Pep Guardiola, who also favours Toni Kroos to Schweinsteiger. Both Bayern Munich stars played under Van Gaal, who was head coach with the German giants between 2009 and 2011, and have great respect for the vastly-experienced Dutchman.
Van Gaal wants Woodward and United to act decisively over the next few weeks to ensure the club land their top transfer targets well in time for the start of the 2014/15 campaign. Southampton and England left-back Luke Shaw is believed to be on the brink of securing a big-money move to Old Trafford.
A repeat of last summer’s botched efforts in the transfer window could, for the second time in as many seasons, cost the Red Devils dear.