Holland coach plans to use his national team connections to bring top youngsters to Old Trafford.
Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal is preparing to raid Holland this summer as plots to freshen up his new club’s ageing squad.
The Red Devils finished seventh in the Premier League this season – their worst ever campaign in the modern top flight.
Experienced defenders Rio Ferdinand, 35, and Nemanja Vidic, 32, are moving on, while 40-year-old midfielder Ryan Giggs has hung up his boots to become Van Gaal’s assistant manager.
Van Gaal is keen to recruit youngsters and he has an extensive knowledge of Dutch players, having been national coach since 2012.
The 62-year-old’s first priority is to bolster his central defensive ranks to compensate for the departures of Ferdinand and Vidic.
Van Gaal trusts Jonny Evans, 26, and Chris Smalling, 24, to take on the responsibility of becoming the club’s senior centre-backs and he is therefore looking to sign back-up players, rather than immediate first-team stars.
Feyenoord defenders Stefan de Vrij (pictured), Terence Kongolo and Bruno Martins Indi were included in Van Gaal’s 23-man World Cup squad on Saturday. The trio are all on his Red Devils transfer shortlist too.
De Vrij was one of Feyenoord’s most consistent performers this season. The tall 22-year-old started 32 Eredivisie games, making 71 tackles and 64 interceptions, as well as scoring four goals.
As a proud Dutchman, Van Gaal is a firm believer in total football. He likes his players to be versatile and have the ability to operate in multiple positions.
Left-back Patrice Evra signed a new one-year contract with United recently, but the 33-year-old Frenchman is unlikely to stay at Old Trafford beyond the expiration of the deal.
Kongolo, 20, and Indi, 22, can both play at centre-half or left-back, and Van Gaal hopes that one of them could be United’s long-term replacement for Evra.
Although Van Gaal is moderately happy with the defenders in United’s current first XI, he is much less impressed with the midfielders at the club.
He wants Feyenoord’s Jordy Clasie, 22, to replace Marouane Fellaini, who flopped spectacularly in his first season at Old Trafford following his £27.5m move from Everton.
Clasie, who wears the number six shirt for the Rotterdam club, is an excellent passer and possesses a bullet shot from long range.
He made 32 league appearances this season, scoring one goal and providing seven assists.
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