Louis van Gaal is hoping that a double signing may do enough to relieve some of the pressure on his shoulders.
Following Manchester United's disappointing Champions League exit, Louis van Gaal is reportedly hoping that Southampton pair Sadio Mane and Ryan Bertrand can help salvage the Red Devils' season, and perhaps save the Dutchman's job, according to the Daily Star.
The Star report that after spending over £250m since he arrived at Old Trafford in 2014, the United hierarchy will have little patience with van Gaal should the club fail to win the Premier League this season.
With that in mind, the former Netherlands boss is hoping that a south coast shopping spree in January will allow United to take control of the top flight.
A move for Mane will not surprise many Saints fans. The Star report that United attempted to sign him in the summer after he enjoyed an excellent first season at St Mary's, and will try once again next month, opening with a £20m bid for the Senegalese forward.
But before Ronald Koeman could get away with thinking that he would only have to prevent one of his players moving to Old Trafford, the Star also claim that van Gaal's desire to sign a new left-back has seen Bertrand move onto United's list of targets.
With Luke Shaw out with a long-term injury, van Gaal has been left without a natural left-back, and has had to rely on Marcos Rojo - who has done a good job since being brought into the side - as well as members of the youth team.
The Star suggest that a bid of over £20m may be required to even tempt the Saints to sell the 26-year-old, who has been exceptional since he joined from Chelsea. Like United, Southampton lack options in that area of the pitch, so it does seem unlikely that they would be willing to sell, especially given how difficult it will be to find a replacement during the winter window.
Should United manage to pull off both moves, then the pressure on van Gaal to lead the club to silverware will surely increase, especially as the board will probably have had to spend over £40m to get the double deal done.