The unheralded player has been one of the stars of the Foxes’ magnificent campaign in the Premier League, and, along with N’Golo Kante, has been influential in keeping experienced campaigner and high-profile new addition Gokhan Inler on the bench.
Drinkwater has done the simple things effectively, and with the energetic Kante alongside him, he has demonstrated his ability to pick a pass and his expertise at managing the midfield area.
However, a string of fine performances have alerted van Gaal and, with the Dutch coach seeing a potential difference-maker to help get him and his United team out of trouble, his attentions have turned to the King Power Stadium.
According to insiders, van Gaal is eyeing a late January swoop for the Leicester man, who he sees as the kind of player who could help re-energise the midfield and win fans over.
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While van Gaal is keen to add Drinkwater to his options, the under-pressure coach is also said to be attracted by the prospect of weakening Leicester, one of the four sides ahead of the Red Devils in the league. However, having just signed Daniel Amartey from FC Kobenhavn, the Foxes may not be too concerned about cashing in on Drinkwater.
The 25-year-old learned his trade at Old Trafford, but moved to Leicester permanently in 2012 after loan spells with Huddersfield Town, Cardiff City, Watford and Barnsley.