Van Gaal tells Manchester United to sign £23.5m World Cup midfielder - reports

Estadio da Luz Benfica

According to reports, Louis van Gaal has told Manchester United to land Benfica midfielder Enzo Perez.

Manchester United's recent 1-0 win over Crystal Palace leaves them just two points off a top four spot, and manager Louis van Gaal is starting to see progress from his Red Devils side.

Yet despite spending around £150m this summer, Dutchman van Gaal is believed to be interested in more additions in the January transfer window - despite executive vice chairman Ed Woodward playing down any anticipated activity from United.

And according to reports in Spain and in England, van Gaal has instructed the United hierarchy to land Benfica midfielder Enzo Perez in a £23.5m deal.

The former Estudiantes winger has reinvented himself as a central midfielder in Portugal, and played superbly in Argentina's World Cup semi-final against the Netherlands - who were of course managed by van Gaal.

Since then, Perez has been strongly linked with a move to United or La Liga side Valencia, and whilst a move to the Mestalla looked likely in August, he remained with Benfica.

However, van Gaal still wants to sign the 28-year-old, and is relying on his international team mate Angel Di Maria to secure the deal, with Valencia still looking for a deal.

Perez's ability to play out wide or in the centre would offer great balance across from Di Maria in United's diamond midfield, but the speculation once again poses questions over the future of Ander Herrera.

The £27m summer addition from Athletic Bilbao has had little impact due to injuries, and reports have suggested that van Gaal isn't a fan of the Spaniard, and could look to move him on as early as January.

Bringing in Perez would only accelerate those rumours, but United have needed quality players in midfield for a long time, and adding more options is a good thing for van Gaal and Manchester United.

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