The lack of transfer activity at Old Trafford over last season has finally caught up with the former English champions and now they are desperately lacking steel in the middle of the park.
Michael Carrick is nearing the twilight of his career and Fellaini has failed to impress the Old Trafford faithful. So, what United require is a defensive-minded midfielder like Bayern Munich giant Bastian Schweinsteiger.
The latter has struggled to find a permanent role under Pep Guardiola, but is a proven holding midfielder after van Gaal gave the 29-year-old a central role when the Dutchman was managing Bayern.
"Playing in the No.6 position would fit my abilities best in my opinion," Schweinsteiger was quoted as saying by Kicker.
"I do know that I can also play in a more offensive role. I didn't always play in the same position last year either.”
"I am used to being rather flexible, but I feel that the position in front of the defence suits me best."
As Patrick Vieira commented two years back, Schweinsteiger “can do everything”. He was dubbed “The Brain” because of his intelligent understanding and reading of the game. He tackles, defends, passes well with an accuracy of 89 per-cent, dictates the tempo of the game and makes timely offensive contributions.
Despite a defensive role, Schweinsteiger contributed to 11 goals last term. By comparison, the trio of Tom Cleverely, Carrick and Fellaini contributed to just three goals in total.
In a potential three-man midfield, Schweinsteiger can play the holding-midfield role, taking over Carrick’s mantle. Fellaini could partner the Bayern vice-captain, playing as the defensive-midfielder and doing the dirty work in the middle of the park. And Juan Mata can play as the most attacking midfielder. In this way, United will have one playmaker, one ball-winner and one creator.
Not to forget, the 29-year-old is versatile and can play in a variety of roles and set-ups. Schweinsteiger will bring balance to the United team and is exactly the kind of midfielder van Gaal should target, although it is unlikely the player will fancy a move to Old Trafford.