The reported Manchester United transfer targets are now rumored to have more of the orange tint of Manager Louis van Gaal’s Netherlands side. With Ed Woodward apparently whiffing on previous publicized targets Bastian Schweinsteiger, Mats Hummels and Toni Kroos, the updated target list looks Dutch heavy. The Red Devils have already signed 18-year-old defender Luke Shaw from Southhampton and midfielder Anders Herrera to kick off their transfer efforts. Louis van Gaal could have a familiar crew lining up for his ManU side if speculation holds true.
The possible orange tinted target wave moving to Manchester to play for United could include defenders Stefan de Vrij, Nigel de Jong and Daley Blind, right-back Daryl Janmaat, center-half Bruno Martins Indi, injured midfielder Kevin Strootman and forward Dirk Kuyt. Incorporating each of these Netherlands players into the side could be a seamless maneuver as van Gaal is already familiar with their strengths and weaknesses. If Manchester United is able to tie up the entire orange wave, then the new Orange Devils could appear next season, joining striker Robin van Persie.
The transfer budget for United is thought to exceed £220 million. The Glazer brothers in charge of the ownership group wish to rebuild the Manchester United side as soon as possible to return to contender status immediately. United remains a moneymaking machine with exhibitions and endorsements filling the coffers, but the profit potential may begin to dry up unless the squad reverts to winning ways. ManU reportedly paid £30 million for Shaw and £29 million for Herrera. Many thought Kroos a better player for a similar fee as Herrera, but the Bayern standout appears headed for Real Madrid, at least according to current rumors.
With potentially seven more Netherlands players joining van Persie next season, van Gaal would put his own stamp on the Red Devils. The Red Devils are in something of a quandary regarding Strootman. They do not want to immediately start paying his £120,000 weekly salary, but they are also concerned that Roma will raise the transfer fee to the £30 million range if they wait for Strootman to be fully fit. With van Gaal possibly remaking the Old Trafford side all at once, the normal process of incorporating new players into the side could be turned on its head. Wayne Rooney and the other holdover players will need to become familiar with the new Dutch coach and his Netherlands transfer crew. Perhaps the transfer rumblings about Kroos, Hummels and others was a ruse while van Gaal worked on his orange onslaught.
If the pursuit of a giant slice of orange from the Netherlands side is plan B for Manchester United, the FIFA World Cup results thus far suggest the orange transfer tint could serve the Red Devils well. The Netherlands players are adept at his 4-4-3 attacking style. Given that he employs the same philosophy regardless of his team, ManU could benefit from a generous helping from the Netherlands side who know how to implement van Gaal’s desires.
Commentary by William Costolo