Darren Lewis writes that van Gaal wants "significant progress" to have been made on targets Yevhen Konoplyanka, Mats Hummels, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Kevin Strootman by the time he returns from World Cup duty with the Netherlands.
None of those names come as a real surprise. Strootman is recovering from a serious knee injury, but he's a big favourite of van Gaal and is exactly the kind of player United need. Schweinsteiger appears to have replaced Toni Kroos as United's Bayern Munich midfielder of choice, while his compatriot Hummels has been linked for quite a while. Konoplyanka did apparently suggest he'd snub United to stay in the Champions League, but those quotes seem rather suspect.
After the disaster that was last summer's transfer campaign, it wouldn't come as a great surprise if van Gaal was keen to get things done as soon as possible. Signing world class players is a tricky business, and one that Ed Woodward seemed to naively underestimate in David Moyes' crucial first window. Fortunately, if there's one man you'd imagine wouldn't stand for all talk and little action, it's van Gaal.