Manchester United's first signing: Six strong possibilities and one wildcard

Who will Manchester United's first signing be?

Forget Kevin Strootman, Mats Hummels and Marco Reus, and throw Toni Kroos into that group too. Manchester United are striking out in pursuit of transfer targets who their clubs are simply refusing to sell.

United will make signings however. They have too much money available and too much at stake not to, while new boss Louis van Gaal will hope his star power and influence attracts big names.

With United fans interested in who their first signing could be, here's a look at six strong possibilities, plus one wildcard.

Luke Shaw

The Red Devils may have secured Patrice Evra to sign a contract extension, but that solves only a temporary fix for the left-back spot. Southampton's Luke Shaw has been 'close' to signing for United for more than a month now, linked with a £30 million switch. The Saints say they will not do business until they have a new manager is appointed, meaning United must work around their timescale.

Yevhen Konoplyanka

Ukrainian winger Yevhen Konoplyanka almost signed for Liverpool in January, and has been linked with a Premier League switch ever since. United's lack of threat from the wing has been existent for almost two seasons now and new faces are needed. Former United star Andrei Kanchelskis has compared him to Arjen Robben in style, a favourite of manager Louis van Gaal.

Bastian Schweinsteiger

The emergence of Philip Lahm as a midfielder for  Bayern, as well as Germany, has seen Bastian Schweinsteiger fall down the pecking order. At 29, he still claims to be at the top of his game and has worked under Van Gaal with great success previously. Bayern are claimed to be more open to selling Schweinsteiger than any other of their midfield options.

Memphis Depay

PSV winger Memphis Depay has been dubbed the Dutch Ronaldo in his homeland, after a dazzling season in which he scored 14 and provided 10 assists. Only 20, Van Gaal's faith in him is apparent, picking him for Holland's World Cup squad. 

Jordy Clasie

Feyenoord midfielder Jordy Clasie is a player Robin van Persie rates highly, comparing his short and long passing ability to United legend Paul Scholes. Van Gaal also has great faith in Clasie, preparing to pick him for Holland's World Cup opener with Spain. Any deal will have to wait until after the tournament however with Van Gaal reluctant to make waves with top Eredivisie clubs during the finals.

Alexis Sanchez

Barcelona forward Alexis Sanchez is being linked by several papers as a target for the Red Devils. He is also strongly linked with Juventus, and at 25 is still to hit his peak. Sanchez has been at Barcelona three years, and despite their claims they would like to keep him, continued reports otherwise suggest United may have a chance. He is rumoured to cost in the region of £20-25 million, a potential bargain for a player of his talent.

Arturo Vidal

Arturo Vidal is the wildcard pick, arguably the most complete midfielder in Europe and one Juventus are said to be open to selling if an offer of £50 million comes in. Real Madrid are confessed admirers, but Van Gaal's recent comments about his regret at failing to buy the Chilean while managing in the Bundesliga is a clear hint he still admires a player his Dutch side will face during the World Cup. 

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