Dutch press reveal which ex-Manchester United star van Gaal 'would love' to sign

Reports in the Netherlands suggest that Louis van Gaal wants to sign Gerard Pique.

Saturday's 1-0 win over Crystal Palace took Manchester United just two points off a top four spot, which was surely the remit for manager Louis van Gaal before the season started.

Old Trafford is becoming a fortress for the Red Devils once again, who have lost once at home this season, and that came on the opening day of the campaign against Swansea City.

Summer signings such as Luke Shaw, Daley Blind and Angel Di Maria are settling in nicely under the Dutchman, but more spending is expected in January and next summer in order to get United challenging for the title once again.

There's not much doubt over which area of the United team needs strengthening the most - centre back.

Injuries to Jonny Evans, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo have left United woefully short, with Blind and Patrick McNair starting against Crystal Palace.

A world class centre back is needed, and that makes it unsurprising that former United defender Gerard Pique has been linked with the club amid his own personal struggles at Barcelona.

The 27-year-old is out of favour under new Barcelona boss Luis Enrique, and having spent four years as a United player between 2004 and 2008, Pique has been suggested as a top target for van Gaal.

Now, reports in the Netherlands state that van Gaal could be looking to snap up Pique - but there's a big problem with any potential deal for the Spanish international.

"Dissatisfaction with Piqué will undoubtedly sound like music to the ears of Louis van Gaal. The manager of Manchester United is in fact very fond of the defender and would love to take him to England," say soccernews.nl.

"However, a transfer is a particularly difficult because Barcelona would get no substitute for Pique because of their transfer ban," they add.

Dutch press have often passed comment on van Gaal's transfer wishlist so far, and whilst Pique should be on his radar, Barcelona's transfer ban certainly makes it difficult to complete a deal.

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