Louis van Gaal has confirmed he is looking at bolstering the Manchester United squad during the January transfer window to address the problems caused by injuries in his ranks. The Dutch boss already broke the bank over the summer to strengthen his options with the additions of Anthony Martial, Memphis Depay, Morgan Schneiderlin, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Matteo Darmian and Sergio Romero.
But earlier in November Van Gaal confirmed he was still in the market for a speedy forward, amid reports linking him with the likes of Southampton's Sadio Mane and Newcastle's Ayoze Perez. He also opened the door to a new left-back, after losing Luke Shaw for the rest of the campaign with an injury sustained against PSV.
The Old Trafford boss admits it is "not easy" to find the right names in the January mercato, but with the likes of Shaw, Antonio Valencia, Marcos Rojo, Wayne Rooney, Ander Herrera and Phil Jones currently on the sidelines, he is committed to buying new players.
"The problem is that our injuries are always contact injuries and you cannot afford that because football is a sport of direct resistance. Shaw is directly injured, Rojo and Wayne also. We have a lot of long-lasting contact injuries, which is our problem," he said in a press conference ahead of the game against West Ham United. "We are looking, but as you know it is not so easy to buy players and in January it is more difficult."
The signing of a versatile forward and a defender on the left have become ever-more urgent following the decision to send James Wilson on loan to Brighton & Hove Albion and the injuries of both Rooney and Rojo.
Daley Blind and Ashley Young are ready to cope with the left-back situation over the busy Christmas period, with Rojo ruled out for around one month. Meanwhile, Martial is expected to lead the attack in the coming games against West Ham and Wolfsburg after Van Gaal revealed Rooney is likely to miss both games.