Atletico Madrid's Miranda is the latest central defender being linked with a January move to Old Trafford, but is the Brazilian international a worthwhile signing at £20 million?
Miranda has been outstanding for the Spanish capital outfit since his arrival at the Vicente Calderon and played a key role in last season's La Liga success and Champions League final run.
Nonetheless, the statistics from the current domestic campaign do not show the Atletico defender in the best light, especially when compared to those already plying their trade at Old Trafford.
In terms of interceptions, clearances and tackles (with the exception of Chris Smalling) - the bread and butter of a defender's game - he emerges inferior to those who are currently classed as Van Gaal's 'senior' options, that is, Jonny Evans, Marcos Rojo, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones.
|Team||Pass Acc (%)||Tackles/ App||Blocks/ App||Clearances/ App||Interceptions/ App||Aerial Won/ App||Error Lead To Shot||Error Lead To Goal||Apps||Mins|
|Jonny Evans||Man Utd||87.1||1.33||1.33||4.67||1||2||1||0||3||210|
|Phil Jones||Man Utd||89.08||2.5||0.75||6.75||5||2||0||0||4||360|
|Chris Smalling||Man Utd||89.92||1||0.6||4.6||1.8||2.4||0||0||5||323|
|Marcos Rojo||Man Utd||86.16||1.14||0.29||5.86||3.29||2.57||2||0||7||596|
Even when it comes to aerial duels won per appearance, the La Liga champions is outclassed by Rojo and Smalling.
Furthermore, his passing accuracy is well below the Manchester United average. Each and every Red Devils defender has averaged a pass completion rate of 86% of greater. Miranda has found success in just 79% of his attempts to find a team-mate. In essence, his distribution is below par.
United's performances have been tarnished by individual errors at the back throughout the opening weeks of the season, and in terms of making mistakes, Miranda has experienced just as torrid-a-time in La Liga. The Brazilian has already been at fault for two opposition opportunities this term - level with Rojo - with one leading to a goal.
To conclude, the statistics hardly weigh in Miranda's favour, and for a reported £20 million, it's highly unlikely that Van Gaal will be willing to fork out for his services.
With an array of youthful talent at his disposal, the Dutchman is likely to hand these players the opportunity to gain first-team experience.