King Louis has arrived, strolling into Old Trafford with a spring in his step and when he addresses the media today he will no doubt explain how he is ready to quell the revolution conducted in Manchester by the Red Devils’ noisy neighbours.
A war chest also awaits but first things first, there are up to 10 United fringe players heading for the guillotine, including likely candidates Tom Cleverley, Wilfried Zaha and Javier Hernández but also Marouane Fellaini – Van Gaal clearly deciding that like Samson, the Belgian’s powers stemmed from his locks. The expected exodus will have a host of Europa League chasers on red alert while the numerous departures will pave the way for the Dutchman to bolster his squad.
The move for Arturo Vidal appears to have hit the buffers but Ángel di María and the Dutch midfielder Jordy Clasie are targets to add some swashbuckle to United’s midfield.
If it’s a musketeer King Louis is after, he could do worse than the French trickster Antoine Griezmann, who shone for Les Bleus at the World Cup and has a £24m release clause. The Real Sociedad winger is attracting interest from a lengthy list of suitors including Bayern Munich, Monaco, Chelsea and Liverpool and with the Reds entering the race, Tottenham have inevitably followed suit.
Spurs are not the most likely destination, what with their absence of Champions League football, already swollen ranks of tricky wingers and, more pertinently, there is far too long left in the transfer window for Daniel Levy to open his chequebook.
Having said that, they are in pole position to sign the Swansea left-back Ben Davies for £10m, again with Liverpool also in the hunt, but are reluctant to improve on £8m.
Spending is the new saving across north London and Mathieu Debuchy is set to be unveiled by the Gunners imminently in a £10m deal but Chelsea are ready to ruin Arsène Wenger’s summer by pinching Sami Khedira from under their noses.
Elsewhere, Stoke’s manager Mark Hughes is trying to bluff his way to signing the Barcelona outcast Bojan Krkic by setting him a 24-hour deadline to decide between Deportivo La Coruña or the Potteries – Norwich’s Nathan Redmond looks a more likely bet for £3.5m.
In European news, Toni Kroos will be unveiled at Real Madrid this afternoon and could be joined by James Rodríguez sooner rather than later – Monaco are ready to accept defeat and will use the funds to chase Arjen Robben.
Back to domestic matters and Sunderland and Fulham are battling it out for the USA defender Matt Besler, who would cost £3m, while bad boy Nile Ranger is set for a move to Leeds.
Queens Park Rangers, as always, are also busy – Adel Taarabt is set to make his move to Milan permament while potentially joining Loftus Road is Leroy Fer, unless Van Gaal decides to swoop for his World Cup supersub.