The Daily Star [via Le 10 Sport] report that the Dutch coach is desperate to turn things around at Old Trafford, and sees defender Stones as a key figure as he looks to add the finishing touches to his United squad.
While the Red Devils have struggled offensively this season, their defence has also come under scrutiny; they were found wanting in defeat to Bournemouth this weekend, and also shipped three against Wolfsburg last weekend as the German side condemned them to a 3-2 defeat—and a Champions League elimination.
United were linked to Sergio Ramos and Nicolas Otamendi during the summer, with both men tipped to move to Old Trafford to add resiliency and presence to the heart of the defence [Independent].
However, the former remained at Real Madrid, while the latter ultimately switched to Manchester City, and United’s hunt for a viable centre-back continues.
The French source—quoting the tabloid—note that United are preparing an offer of €70m to bring Stones to Old Trafford, with van Gaal desperate to see off competition from Arsenal, Barcelona and Chelsea.
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The last of the three were heavily linked to Stones during the summer, and had several bids turned down for the England international [Sky Sports].