Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal wants to spend as much as £50 million on defenders in the January transfer window, according to Goal.com.
The report has also suggested that the Dutch coach has identified Roma midfielder Kevin Strootman as his No.1 target in the winter transfer window.
Manchester United have endured a disastrous start to this season, having secured just five points from their opening five fixtures this term. The Red Devils were knocked out of the Capital One Cup at the hands of League One outfit MK Dons last month as they went down by four goals to nil, and they were humiliated once again yesterday as they conceded five goals to Leicester City.
Van Gaal's side ultimately went down by five goals to three at the King Power Stadium, which handed them their second defeat in England's elite division this term.
Having seen the experienced trio of Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra depart the club at the end of last season, United failed to replace them in the summer market. Van Gaal, then, appears ready to splash as much as £50m on new defenders in January, but it remains to be seen as to which stars are available.
One man that is certainly wanted at the Theatre of Dreams is Roma star Kevin Strootman. The midfielder - who has previously worked under Van Gaal for the Dutch national team - is currently out with a long term injury, but United appear confident of landing his signature despite Roma's insistence that he's not for sale.
The Dutch midfielder would certainly improve United in the middle of the park, but it remains to be seen as to whether they can strike a deal with Roma in the next transfer window or whether they return for his signature in the summer of 2015.
Woodward is key
However, it appears that Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward holds the key in any transfer dealings in January. The same report has suggested that Woodward has told investors that the club will not spend huge in January, but he's aware that the club can't afford to go a second consecutive season without Champions League football.
Woodward and Van Gaal, then, are set to hold a meeting regarding January's plans, with United's manager hoping to improve his side once again.
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