Cesc Fabregas
Cesc Fabregas Reuters

Louis van Gaal has reportedly blocked Cesc Fabregas's transfer from Barcelona - even though vice chairman Ed Woodward had earmarked the former Arsenal midfielder as a top priority.

Manchester United's new manager has been handed a reputed £200m to bolster the squad in the summer in order to return to the Champions League after the Premier League giants finished a hugely disappointing seventh under David Moyes last season.

Recent reports suggested Fabregas was leading a short-list of targets to strengthen the midfield this summer, but the Manchester Evening News claims the Barcelona star is not in van Gaal's transfer plans.

According to the report, Woodward wanted Fabregas but the new boss has handed him his own shopping list, excluding the Barcelona star and naming Roma midfielder Kevin Strootman as his preference.

Questioned about Strootman in a recent interview, van Gaal said: "I gave my wishlist to the club. Is Kevin Strootman on it? A question for you, a fact for me."

Even though the 24-year-old midfielder is missing out on the World Cup in Brazil after being sidelined with a knee injury since March, van Gaal is reportedly desperate for him to anchor United's midfield next term.

Roma are confident of keeping the Dutch midfielder in their ranks, but the Italians may be open to negotiating a deal in excess of £25m.

The Manchester Evening News also claims van Gaal has sanctioned the signing of Southampton youngster Luke Shaw, while he is also keen on bringing Borussia Dortmund duo Mats Hummels and Marco Reus to Old Trafford.