Louis van Gaal is ready to follow up the signing of Memphis Depay with more new acquisitions this summer if he thinks his Manchester United squad is not up to scratch.
United this week beat Paris St Germain to the £25m signing of PSV Eindhoven forward Depay, who will pen a four-year contract at Old Trafford once he has passed a medical.
The 21-year-old forward is the eighth signing of Van Gaal’s reign and the United boss has been told he has a sizeable transfer kitty to spend this summer.
The Dutchman will evaluate every player at the end of his maiden season and will not hesitate in bringing more players in if he deems it necessary.
“Manchester United shall always react when it is necessary in our eyes,” the United boss said when asked about summer targets.
The Dutchman is interested in signing Gareth Bale from Real Madrid – although sources close to the Welshman insist he is going nowhere.
Nathaniel Clyne and Mats Hummels are also on Van Gaal’s radar, but the next target for the Dutchman appears to be a central midfielder.
Van Gaal is short of options there after experienced and influential campaigner Michael Carrick, who turns 34 in the summer, was ruled out for the rest of the season with a calf problem.
”He shall not play any more this season,” said Van Gaal, who is known to admire Roma’s Kevin Strootman and Ilkay Gundogan of Borussia Dortmund.
”We have only one right-sided holding midfielder. Our selection is not balanced, and I want to restore that in the next transfer period.
”The life is not ending at 34, but for a professional football player, it’s close by. That’s why I have to handle again in that position.”
Should Depay maintain his excellent form – he has scored 21 goals in 28 games for PSV this year – Van Gaal will have gone some way to solving the lack of firepower that has led to three straight defeats.
If United lose against Crystal Palace on Saturday it will be the first time that they have lost four league games in a row since 1979.
Van Gaal thinks signing Depay may have distracted his squad in the build-up to the game at Selhurst Park, but the United boss insists he was left with no alternative after PSG entered the bidding for his compatriot’s signature.
”I have been forced to sign him,” Van Gaal said.
”I didn’t want to sign him before the end of the season. We have to focus on our games.
”When you sign a player you disturb the focus of your present group of players. The coming matches are very important for Manchester United and for all of the players. But because of the market, I must handle it (now) – because otherwise he would have signed for PSG.”