Van Gaal targets Bayern, Dortmund stars

Stuart Franklin

No, he hasn't been appointed yet. Yes, we're as impatient as everybody else. But in the meantime, reports suggests that United's impending manager has indicated who he would like to find waiting for him at Old Trafford.

Another day, another giant space in all our lives where Louis van Gaal should be making himself comfortable. Not that this is anything to worry about, oh no. The Guardian's Jamie Jackson has written today that United are simply being guided by Van Gaal on how best to reduce the possible distractions for his World Cup squad. They've got a day off on Sunday and another Monday, so that's when it will happen. Maybe. Potentially. Reportedly.

More excitingly, he also reports that Van Gaal has provided an "A, B and C list" of transfer targets to Edward Woodward. Names at the top of that list include Bayern Munich's Arjen Robben and Thomas Müller, along with Borussia Dortmund's Mats Hummels. You can't accuse the man of lacking ambition, anyway. Or taste.

Robben and Müller have both worked with Van Gaal before, at Bayern and, in Robben's case, for the national side as well. Indeed, Van Gaal gave Müller his debut, along with long-term United target Toni Kroos. Apparently, the incoming manager has approved United's doomed, Moyes-instigated pursuit of Kroos, and also the more likely purchase of Luke Shaw. While Southampton's left-back doesn't play in Germany and hasn't worked with Van Gaal before, he is quite good and very young. And, like rest of that list, he'll be exceptionally expensive.

Readers with adequate memories will recall that Arjen Robben nearly joined United when he left the Netherlands as a young, only slightly-balding slip of a lad. He even met Alex Ferguson, but United went in with a low offer, and off to Chelsea he went. Still, it's good to see Van Gaal taking measures to address these long-standing incomplete transfer stories.

Speaking of which, you know who tBB misses? William Carvalho? Whatever happened to good old Bill Carvalho, hey? He was a good rumour. We liked him. He had a pencil moustache. Maybe ... maybe he never even existed at all.

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