Manchester United to chase four top signings with £100 million budget

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Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal will be handed another enormous £100 million-plus transfer budget next summer to make the Red Devils genuine title contenders once again - with five top stars already identified as top targets to be snapped up at the end of the current campaign.

Kevin Strootman's name unsurprisingly features at the the top of that list, alongside Mats Hummels, Diego Godin and Southampton standout Nathaniel Clyne.

Van Gaal has convinced United chiefs that another massive pre-season full of spending is necessary because a number of first-team stars will be shipped out in a wholesale clearout next year, with Rafael and Darren Fletcher among those facing an extremely uncertain future.

United ready to spend big once again

The Telegraph's report seems to tie in with a very public statement from executive vice-president Ed Woodward last month, which insisted that United won't chase short-term fixes in January and have the long game in mind.

Central defence is one area of the team Van Gaal clearly thinks needs improving, with former United stalwarts Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic truly never replaced. Dortmund star Hummels and Atletico Madrid linchpin Godin both fit the bill and then some, but won't be available until next summer at the earliest and certainly won't come cheap.

Clyne eyed as Rafael's successor

Perhaps more surprisingly United are ready to raid Southampton for another England international if the opportunity arises, with Clyne the subject of a scout mission that has seen the right-back receive huge praise.

Clyne has blossomed this season and made Southampton's decision to sell Calum Chambers look a shrewd one to say the least, but it remains to be seen if Ronald Koeman's side are prepared to cash in on yet another top performer for a massive profit next summer.

Van Gaal sees Clyne as the man to take on the mantle at right-back if Rafael fails to convince between now and the end of the season, with the Brazilian's cause not helped by a succession of niggling injury problems.

Strootman still tops the bill

The experienced tactician also wants a new box-to-box midfielder that can help United control games rather than rely on a star-studded strikeforce to deliver the goods, with Strootman trusted to fit the bill.

Van Gaal has made no secret of his admiration for the Roma midfielder, who may well be at Old Trafford already if it weren't for the cruciate ligament injury that ended his World Cup dream.

United are prepared to be patient and wait for the Giallorossi playmaker to regain form and full fitness, but expect a formal offer for the Netherlands star to arrive the moment the summer transfer window opens.

United clearly believe they can justify taking their spending since Sir Alex Ferguson left in 2013 to beyond £300 million if that's what it takes to make them a Champions League force once again, so its time for Red Devils fans to brace themselves for another 12 months of upheaval in search of instant success.

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Louis van Gaal
Manchester United

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