Louis van Gaal
Louis van Gaal wants to see his players at close quarters before making big-name signings Getty

Louis van Gaal could break the British transfer record as he looks to overhaul Manchester United and return them to the summit of the Premier League.

The Dutchman has been given the green light by Old Trafford chief executive Ed Woodward to make a serious splash in the transfer market this summer as United look to flex their financial muscles.

Woodward, who was criticised for United's sluggish approach to new signings last summer, has said the club is in a good position to provide van Gaal with a war chest ahead of the new campaign.

United have so far recruited Luke Shaw and Ander Hererra for combined fees of around £60m but are in the hunt for Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal and Borrusia Dortmund centre-back Mats Hummels.

"The reality is that we're not afraid of spending significant amounts of money in the transfer market. Whether it's a record or not doesn't really resonate with us," Woodward said, as reported by the Telegraph.

"What resonates is a top, top elite player that the manager wants that is going to be a star for Manchester United.

"The club is not afraid of [spending £60 million - £70 million] to do that. There is no budget, there is money. We are in a very strong financial position and we can make big signings."

Chelsea paid Liverpool a British record-breaking £50m for Fernando Torres in 2011, but Gareth Bale' £86m transfer from Tottenham Hostpur to Real Madrid last year is the world's most expensive ever move.

The prospect of signing world-class talent will no doubt excite United fans, some of whom levelled blame for last season's catastrophe at the club's owners, the Glazer family, for using money that could be spent on reinforcements on servicing the club's £350m debt.

The 20-times champions have been linked with Thomas Vermaelen, Angel Di Maria, Kevin Strootman, Daley Blind and Stefan de Vrij this summer, but speaking in Los Angeles, where United will take on LA Galaxy, van Gaal said he wanted to assess the squad he inherited before going on any spending spree.

"I have told the club I won't do anything until I know the players here. When I am the coach and I give the orders to play a certain way I want to see how they perform. So I can't answer.

"I want to give all players the chance to show themselves under my guidance," the 62-year-old said.