Manchester United are keen on signing German defender Mats Hummels this summer after the World Cup, but it seems as though they could already have secured his services some time ago.
The Borussia Dortmund ace is enjoying a fine tournament in Brazil, and scored the winner in Germany's 1-0 quarter-final over France last week.
Manchester United interest
Reports today suggest that the Red Devils will step up their attempts to sign the 25-year-old once Germany's involvement in the World Cup comes to an end - which could be tonight as they go up against hosts Brazil in the semi-finals.
It was previously claimed that having secured the services of both Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera, Van Gaal has made Hummels his "number one" priority this summer as he looks to implement a 3-4-3 formation at Old Trafford that would suit the German. It's been suggested that a bid of around £20 million could be forthcoming.
However it could have been very different had former boss David Moyes acted on his instincts. According to the Guardian, the ex-Manchester United manager had Hummels extensively scouted during his tenure with a view of signing him.
Having taken his time to analyse the German along with his scouts, Moyes decided that his perceived lack of mobility meant he couldn't go through with the deal. The Guardian quote a source close to the deal as saying: "He can't run".
Moyes' time in charge at Old Trafford came to an untimely end just ten months after his appointment having helped guide the club to their lowest ever Premier League finish.
It seems as though Van Gaal has a different opinion on Hummels, and views him as the ideal man to step into the void in the Manchester United defence. With both Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand gone, the Red Devils are lacking leadership at the back, and Hummels could be the man to solve that particular problem.
Aside from looking for cover at the back, Manchester United are also looking at options in midfield, and have been heavily linked with a move for Juventus ace Arturo Vidal, as well as Real Madrid man Angel di Maria.