Manchester United are considering a triple swoop for Borussia Dortmund star Mats Hummels, Arsenal skipper Thomas Vermaelen and Feyenoord defender Stefan De Vrij, according to the Express.
The Red Devils need to bring in reinforcements in the heart of their back four after the star duo of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand left Old Trafford on a free transfer. Their departure has seen Louis van Gaal left with Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans as the first choice centre-backs in the squad.
The Red Devils won their first match of the pre-season tour by registering a 7-0 win over LA Galaxy. The fixture saw the Dutchman field three-men defence with two full-backs. Van Gaal has set his sights on Hummels, Vermaelen and De Vrij.
Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp has informed United to forget signing Germany's World Cup winning defender. However, the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager is still keen on signing Hummels this summer.
Vermaelen has one year left on his contract at the Emirates and has not signed a new deal. The Gunners manager Arsene Wenger has admitted that he cannot guarantee the Belgium international will stay at Arsenal beyond the ongoing transfer window.
The Premier League defender is set to leave his current employers this summer and the Dutch manager could make an approach for his former player. Vermaelen is believed to be available for £12m.
United could face competition for Vermaelen's signature as the Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo reports that Barcelona are also keen on securing the services of the Arsenal centre-back.
Meanwhile, Van Gaal also wants his compatriot De Vrij at Old Trafford. The Feyenoord centre-back played under United manager during the World Cup in Brazil for the Netherlands.
The Dutch international is available for £8m and a chance to play under Van Gaal once again could tempt De Vrij to make a switch to Old Trafford.
The 62-year-old manager could lure him in the summer transfer window as he targets to bolster United's central defending position for the next season. Van Gaal was forced to deploy Darren Fletcher as a centre-back in the second half against LA Galaxy.
The new United manager admitted that he is short of options when it comes to picking central defenders and hinted that he could add a few players in that position this summer.
"I have no more defenders. So I have to pick a player [Fletcher] who can do the job but he is not so suitable for this position," Van Gaal told United's official website.