Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal is set to the reject the chance to chase any of his top transfer targets in January, despite being assured by the Red Devils chiefs that the cash in there waiting to go after Kevin Strootman, Mats Hummels or Arturo Vidal if he so chooses.
Van Gaal believes that he is highly unlikely to land any of those marquee signings due to the famously treacherous nature of the mid-season transfer window, with The Guardian reporting that he has no desire to recruit short-team solutions and already has next season and a big summer spending spree on his mind instead.
The experienced Dutch tactician has come to this decision primarily because he's happy with the progress made during the first three months of the season, although I'm not too sure the vast majority of United fans will agree with that confident stance.
Defensive shortage remains a concern
Van Gaal's insistence that United don't need any new defenders in particular is a huge surprise, purely because the injury crisis at Old Trafford has shown no sign of letting up in recent weeks.
Marcos Rojo suffered a shoulder injury in Sunday's Manchester derby which once again exposed their worrying lack of experienced cover in a pivotal position, with Phil Jones and Jonny Evans also still stranded on the sidelines.
Michael Carrick and Paddy McNair filled in for the final part of that 1-0 defeat at the Etihad, but if United lose any more defenders to a long-term problem Van Gaal will surely be forced to change his stance.
Fitness concerns over Strootman made mind up
If there were no barriers to the deal Van Gaal would love to pick up where he left off with a £150 million summer spend and sign Roma midfielder Strootman, a player he placed huge faith in during his second spell in charge of the Dutch national side.
Strootman is only just back in full training after picking up tearing his cruciate ligament in March, an injury which put paid to his chances of working with Van Gaal at the World Cup.
United plan to monitor the midfield closely to see if he can recapture full fitness and top form over the next six months, with their plan to move for the former PSV Eindhoven playmaker's signature when the current campaign closes rather than take any risks in January.
It's the same story for any world-class target that Van Gaal feels would genuinely improve the current United squad, so don't expect another window full of high-profile arrivals at the Theatre of Dreams when transfer silly season come back with a bang in 2015.
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