Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has revealed that he's ready to spend big again this month, but only if he can identify an attainable transfer target that represents a significant improvement on the players already at his disposal.
Van Gaal has already completed one surprise January addition after handing Spanish goalkeeper Victor Valdes an 18-month contract, with his latest comments doing little to dampen speculation that if the likes of Mats Hummels and Kevin Strootman become available United are ready to move at a moment's notice to add world-class players.
Sunday's 1-0 defeat to Southampton showed the Red Devils are still some well short of being the finished article under Van Gaal, who has not for the first time defiantly claimed he'll make significant improvements where needed over the course of his time at Old Trafford.
Expect sweeping changes this summer
In his post-match press conference following the slump against Saints the Dutch tactician was asked about potential transfers, telling Sky Sports: "When I cannot improve my selection, then I wait. And then I maybe have to wait a year more.
"Maybe you think that there are so many fantastic players, but it is not like that. However, I don’t (necessarily) prefer to wait until the summer when I can improve my selections. That I have showed with Valdes.
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Money not an option
Van Gaal also insisted that United are ready to keep on spending in search of instant improvements, with the price tag of a priority target quite frankly none of his concern.
He said: "When we can buy a player who can improve my selection, the club shall buy. Money is not interesting. It is always quality of the players in comparison with the other players that I have. I have to compare. I have to decide. Money doesn’t play any role."
"Now that I coach Manchester United, I expect more attacking quality," he added. "If it is not this year, then next season or the season after that. We shall improve and you shall see it."
Red Devils chief Ed Woodward has already proved since Van Gaal took charge that United will back their new manager to the hilt by spending big to secure his targets, in stark comparison to previous manager David Moyes' struggles in the transfer market.
United fans can certainly expect the club to go big again when it comes to acquiring fresh talent this summer, but despite Van Gaal's wishes it may prove too difficult to repeat the trick over the next three weeks.