Morgan Schneiderlin has been made Manchester United’s preferred option to strengthen his midfield as he looks to alleviate the pressure on Michael Carrick.
The France midfielder has frequently tweeted about his future in recent weeks and it looks as though this summer might finally be the time when he takes his leave of Southampton.
The defensive enforcer was close to leaving St. Mary’s last year but ended up staying after the exits of Rickie Lambert, Dejan Lovren, Adam Lallana and Luke Shaw.
This summer the Saints might not be so lucky however, with it claimed in the Manchester Evening News that Van Gaal would prefer to sign Schneiderlin even though he is still retaining an interest in Bayern Munich’s Bastian Schweinsteiger.
The Germany international would be an obvious coup were United to get their hands on him, thanks to his experience at the highest level and his talent in the middle of the park.
At the moment Van Gaal is relying on Carrick as his metronome to keep each game ticking over, but the 33-year-old showed signs last season that his body may be starting to feel the toll of a lengthy professional career.
As a result Van Gaal is aware that he needs the support of someone equally gifted in midfield. Schweinsteiger is just that, although he’s 30 himself and so the purchase of a younger model might be more appealing in the long run.
Perhaps that’s why Schneiderlin fits in best. Not only is he a proven Premier League talent who has carved a reputation as a hungry ball-winner, but he’s also 25, enabling him to offer plenty more years of service at the highest level.
One thing was made abundantly clear by Van Gaal’s first term in charge at Old Trafford, and that's that the defence is an area that is in dire need of improvement. The addition of a new centre-back is one that should be a priority of paramount importance, but moving forward a player with added bite in the midfield will only help matters.
United fans, who would you like to see Van Gaal sign as a priority this summer? Let us know your thoughts in the comments box below.