Various reports emanating from England are speculating that Manchester United have backed Louis van Gaal to spend up to £200 million during the next two transfer windows.

According to these stories, the Dutch manager has identified targets to solidify United’s midfield and defense; and the club will be actively looking to acquire players during the upcoming January window. Although officials understand that in all likelihood they won’t be pry players away from opposing clubs until the summer.

Van Gaal wants to add a midfielder, a right-back and one or two central defenders. Among the rumored targets identified by the United manager are: AS Roma midfielder Kevin Strootman, Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels and Atletico Madrid defender Diego Godin.

Strootman has been linked with Van Gaal since before he took the job with the Premier League giants. The midfielder was the key component in the Dutch manager’s plans for last summer’s World Cup in Brazil. But due injury, Van Gaal and Strootman were unable to team up during the global tournament.

The United manager has reportedly been monitoring the progress of the Roma midfielder since he returned to action a few weeks ago. Strootman came on as a substitute during the Serie A side’s 3-0 win over Torino on November 9th.

Since that time, the Dutch international only made a brief appearance during Roma’s 1-1 draw with CSKA Moscow in the Champions League. The midfielder has made the bench for the Italian club in two league matches, but remained unused.

The likelihood of Strootman joining United in January is slim to none, due to the fact that the player is obviously not at 100% match fitness – something Van Gaal would demand. But a summer move for the Dutch midfielder would surprise no one.

Earlier today, Diego Simeone laughed off suggestions that his centre-back and team captain Diego Godin would leave the club in January. When asked if he was aware of United’s interest in the defender and the club’s rumored bid of 20 million euros (£15.7 million) for Godin, Simeone laughed and dismissed the question.

“How much? Twenty (million euros)? For Godin? It must be a mistake,” the Atletico Madrid manager said.

While Godin does have a £28 million release clause in his contract, it’s highly unlikely the influential defender will abandon the reigning La Liga champions in January. The Atletico captain turned down offers last summer to leave Spain.

But United won’t be put off by any potential refusal from the Uruguay international. Expect executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward to stay on the heels of the sought-after centre-back from now until next September.

In the case of Mats Hummels, reports have surface from Germany in recent weeks suggesting that Borussia Dortmund have softened their stance on Mats Hummels.

Over the summer, the German international was heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford. But Dortmund officials and their manager Jurgen Klopp steadfastly denied that the centre-back was on the market. “He’s staying with us,” Klopp said in August. “He is going nowhere.”

The player himself revealed that he had no interest in leaving Germany, no matter what other European clubs would offer him.

“It’s nice to hear that big clubs are interested in you,” Hummels told a German magazine in September. “I take that as a compliment. But it doesn’t influence me in any way, otherwise. We earn enough here in Dortmund.”

“There will always be someone who can pay more than BVB. But Dortmund have made a lot of progress during my time here. In any case: I believe that it’s enough for me. If one day I start thinking about playing abroad, money won’t be the reason. But I don’t think about that at the moment. We still have so much further to go here.”

Now it appears, with Dortmund struggling mightily in the Bundesliga, that the German club is willing to depart with their team captain; but it would take a considerable amount of money. The rumored number being quoted by Dortmund officials is between £35-47 million in order to acquire the 25-year-old defender.

If these rumors are to be believed, then it appears that Louis van Gaal will be given the necessary funds in order to secure the services of the sought-after defender.

Other names being thrown around are Southampton right-back Nathaniel Clyne, Barcelona defender Dani Alves and Bayern Munich midfielder Arjen Robben.

United also have to decide on the future of striker Radamel Falcao. Should the club make the Colombia international’s loan move a permanent deal, it would cost United £43.5m.

With Falcao just returning to the United lineup following his battles with fresh injuries, it’s probable that the coming weeks and months will prove vital to his future at Old Trafford.

The club is also in the process of re-negotiating a new contract with goalkeeper David de Gea. The Spain international will see his contract run out in the summer of 2015 and it is expected that any attempt to secure him for the long term will cost United plenty.

Although the negotiations have moved slowly, it is believed that United officials are “relaxed” about De Gea committing his future to the club.

All totaled, United’s potential outlay could take the club’s spending to £350 million in the past two years.

There are also expected to be a number of departures from the club during the coming transfer windows. Speculation is Nani, Tom Cleverley, Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, Nick Powell, Reece James, Michael Keane and Anderson will all be shown the exit door at Old Trafford.

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