Both The Times and the Guardian have reported that Louis van Gaal has sent Manchester United his list of prospective summer transfer targets in advance of his unveiling as the next Red Devils boss next week.
The club have made no official comment regarding his appointment, but his three-year contract will be announced next week, after his Dutch national team face off against Ecuador in a friendly at the Amsterdam Arena. He will take full charge after Holland's World Cup campaign.
United are expected to go on a near-£200 million summer spending spree, even though it emerged yesterday that the cost of the 297-day Moyes era came to almost £50 million. This was offset somewhat by record revenues of £115.5 million in their latest quarterly accounts.
The Dutchman has approved an £30-million bid for Southampton wunderkind Luke Shaw, which United hope to conclude before the World Cup finals in June. In addition to the 18-year-old star, van Gaal has apparently presented United an A, B and C list of players to be pursued.
Dortmund centre-half Mats Hummels has been identified by van Gaal as a suitable replacement for the outgoing Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, while the Bayern Munich attacking trio of Toni Kroos, Thomas Müller and Arjen Robben also feature on his list of coveted targets.
One can only speculate as to whether Van Gaal added to his list by licking his pencil and entering each name into a spiral-bound jotter in the style of Richard Nixon or Father Noel Furlong adding to their lists of enemies ("I reeeally like Toni - Kroos, that is"). I'd like to think he did.