Manchester United are eyeing up moves to Netherlands duo Nigel de Jong and Stefan de Vrij as they look to bolster their defensive ranks this summer ahead of a crucial season in the Premier League.
Louis van Gaal is currently directing the pair at the 2014 World Cup and the Daily Star claims that he wants to continue working with them once the Netherlands' involvement in the tournament in Brazil is complete. The report claims the Old Trafford club may have to pay as much as £30million for the pair, with De Jong valued at £10million and De Vrij at £20million.
Rival turned asset
Were Manchester United to sign De Jong, seeing him in red will be a sight to get used to for most Mancunians as he played in the Premier League only two seasons ago for the Red Devils' city rivals, Manchester City. He was sold to AC Milan in 2012 and many believe the stability he provided in midfield was one of the reasons behind Roberto Mancini's side being unable to defend their Premier League title.
De Jong would take up the role as midfield enforcer in front of the defence as he has done for much of his career, which is an area that Van Gaal is expected to address. Michael Carrick and Darren Fletcher current fulfil that role, but neither do it naturally.
De Vrij is a promising young centre-back and has made something of a name for himself with Feyenoord in the last two seasons. The Eredivisie club, according to the report, are reluctant to sell the 22-year-old and will make sure they get a substantial fee for him if it comes to that.
Manchester United are in need of recruitments in the centre-back position after veterans Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic both departed following the expiration of their contracts this summer. Losing the pair will mean a loss of experience in the position, which is not exactly addressed in the signing of De Vrij.
After the departure of Ferdinand and Vidic, Van Gaal is left with only Phil jones, Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans as senior centre-backs in the Old Trafford squad. None of the three have been particularly dominating when given a chance, while De Vrij has shown great composure and calm in a series of impressive performances at the World Cup.
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