De Jong, Blind and Vermaelen lined up as United arrivals

Zee Media Bureau/Rajdeep Saha

New Delhi: English powerhouse Manchester United are prepared to stump up £15million to beat Barcelona to the signature of Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen. The Red Devils are also going in for Dutch star Daley Blind who would fight for a place with Luke Shaw.

Manager Louis van Gaal is anxious for more signings following the club’s return from their pre-season tour in America and wants to close deals for Vermaelen Blind before his Premier League bow against Swansea City on August 16.

United are thin on defence as the likes of Patrice Evra, Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Alexander Buttner left the club this summer. With German international Mats Hummels poised for a stay at Borussia Dortmund, United are in dire need of enforcement in central defence. This could see them paying more for the Arsenal skipper as Barcelona too are looking to lure the unsettled Belgian star away to Camp Nou.

Reports suggested that Louis Van Gaal is set to bring AC Milan midfielder, Nigel De Jong after signing Spaniard Anders Herrera earlier this summer. With the manager unsure about Arturo Vidal`s injury issues and hefty price tag, experienced De Jong is expected to fill in the middle of the park for now. Roma star Kevin Strootman is lined up to be a January transfer for United as van Gaal clearly showed his intent in signing the former PSV Eindhoven star who is currently nursing a broken leg.

The major issue that sorrounds Old Trafford is that whether both Vermaelen and De Jong are the key players that could solve United`s problems? Given their age, they are no long term players. But what they have is experience and that`s where Van Gaal will try to extract most from them and will hope they be a guiding force to the club`s young players. De Jong may not be a big star but he knows how the Premier League functions and also is a great passer of the ball with good physical attributes and in Van Gaal's system he knows what his manager wants from him.

The next few days are interesting for United and fans will hope for arrivals as the club looks to start the EPL season on a winning note against Swansea City next week.