Louis van Gaal
Louis van GaalGetty Images

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal is plotting a £60m triple swoop to answer the defensive problems at the club.

According to the Express, the Red Devils boss has targeted Arsenal's Thomas Vermaelen, Mehdi Benatia of Roma and Ajax defender Daley Blind as the three players he wants to bring in to shore up United's defense for the upcoming Premier League season.

The Dutchman has introduced a new 3-5-2 system at United, and is looking for experienced players at the heart of his defense to replace Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, who left the club as free agents at the end of the previous campaign.

Van Gaal has been linked with Vermaelen all through the summer, with rumours suggesting that the Belgian had already agreed a deal with the Old Trafford club. But, Barcelona are also keen admirers of the defender and will vie with United for his signature.

Gunners manager Arsene Wenger has admitted that there have been bids for the defender from both the clubs, and has revealed that he is more inclined to sell him to a club abroad rather than to a direct title rival.

Meanwhile, Roma defender Benatia has been linked with a move away from the Serie A club with Manchester City being favourites to land him, but the Citizens have given up their chase leaving Manchester United in pole position to land the £30m rated defender.

The third defender van Gaal is interested in is compatriot Blind, who played a key role in Netherlands' run to the semi-finals of the 2014 World Cup under the Dutchman's stewardship. The Red Devils' manager is keen to bring him in as he will suit his new system perfectly, and will fit into the same left wing-back role he essayed in the Dutch national team.

Moreover, the Eredivisie club's youth team coach Richard Witschge has confirmed that a move could be on the cards as the 24-year-old defender has been training alone and not with the first-team squad.

"I think Daley Blind will be leaving soon. I have a feeling. He has been training by himself. I think he has done that, because there's something going on," Witschge said, as quoted by the Express.