United have started the Louis van Gaal era in exceptional fashion, winning all of their pre-season games against LA Galaxy, Roma, Inter Milan, Real Madrid, Liverpool and Valencia, standing them in good stead for the start of the new Premier League season.
The club have already snapped up Southampton left back Luke Shaw and Athletic Bilbao midfielder Ander Herrera for a combined fee of around £60m, but new boss van Gaal is still in the market for more additions - and speculation suggests that a £35m double swoop for Sporting Lisbon's Marcos Rojo and Ajax's Daley Blind is close, whilst Fiorentina's Juan Cuadrado remains a £35m target.
So far during his reign, van Gaal has used the 3-4-1-2 system which he had so much success with at the World Cup, as he led the Netherlands to the World Cup semi-finals. It's a new look for United, and players have subsequently had to adjust quickly. New faces who fit the system perfectly would always be required, and that's what United would get with Rojo, Blind and Cuadrado.
Starting with Rojo, the Argentine international, 24, enjoyed a superb World Cup at left back for Alejandro Sabella's side. However, his experience at centre back with Sporting Lisbon makes him ideal for van Gaal after the collapse of United's bid for Thomas Vermaelen. Rojo is confident with the ball at his feet, and what we saw from the Netherlands at the World Cup was that left sided centre back Bruno Martins Indi would shift across to left back to create a back four, enabling wing back Blind to push forward into midfield.
This time, it will probably be Shaw bombing forward, but Blind's role would be massively important to United. A holding midfielder for Ajax who starred at left wing back for the Netherlands, Blind's versatility makes him a valuable player in any squad. With Patrice Evra now at Juventus and Shaw still only 19, another left back was needed. Yet Blind is far more than that, and could even start in midfield alongside Ander Herrera until Michael Carrick returns from injury. With great technique, passing and positional awareness, Blind figures to be a key squad player if he does arrive at Old Trafford.
That brings us onto Cuadrado. The 26-year-old is a speedy, direct winger who thrives when taking players on down the right hand side. Yet having featured prominently as a wing back during his time in Italy with Udinese, Lecce and Fiorentina, Cuadrado could end up back there if van Gaal presses ahead with his reported £35m bid.
Again, the versatility of either Phil Jones or Chris Smalling to play right back will once again allow shifts across, pushing Cuadrado further forward. It looks like another perfect fit, and we've already seen how devastating pace can be under van Gaal after Arjen Robben's exceptional performances at the World Cup.
3-4-1-2 may be the base formation, but subtle shifts such as Mata out to the left and Rooney deeper can give a 4-2-3-1 look, and given van Gaal's experience with a number of different formations, there's no doubt that the Dutchman is targeting versatile players in order to change things up and keep opposing managers guessing.