Van Gaal linked with January spend: Surely this is his only target

Kevin Strootman playing for PSV, Jonathan Reis for Vitesse

Manchester United are already being linked with more transfer business come January.

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has reportedly been told he can spend again in January, despite splashing the cash this summer. reports that the United boss will be able to delve into the transfer market if he so wishes, as the club prepares to announce a record turnover.

Following the arrivals of Ander Herrera, Luke Shaw, Daley Blind, Marcos Rojo, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao, some would question if United really need to make more additions in four months. But the truth is for all their headline arrivals, the club is still weak in both the centre of midfield and in the heart of their defence.

If van Gaal does sign new players in January, they will surely strengthen one or both those key areas. The problem is, certainly when it comes to a quality centre-back, United will be hard-pressed to find any they could actually tempt midway through the season.

In truth there is only one player that United have any real chance of signing in the winter, and that is Kevin Strootman.

Of course Roma would beg to differ, but with rumours persisting that the Netherlands international is open to a move to Old Trafford – and van Gaal being a big fan – it is not beyond the realms of possibility if United offer enough cash.

While some would say William Carvalho and Arturo Vidal are viable alternatives, if United had really wanted either they surely would have made their move this summer.

William’s price-tag was widely known while United showed in their pursuit of Angel Di Maria that they had the big money to sign the big players, meaning the absence of a move for Vidal is likely to be more down to van Gaal’s judgement than the impossibility of a move.

United will be active in January, but being active and being succesful are two very different things. And one senses that given the importance of Strootman to van Gaal in his previous role, the 24-year-old is the one player most likely to arrive in early 2015.

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