The Red Devils would have been blessed with a world-class star-studded squad had the transfers gone the Dutch tactician’s way.
Robert Lewandowski, Neymar, Sergio Ramos, Thomas Muller, Sadio Mane, and N’Golo Kante were some of the names on the transfer wishlist of Louis van Gaal during his spell at Manchester United.
Van Gaal joined Man United on a three-year contract in the summer of 2014 after leading the Netherlands to the semi-finals of the World Cup in Brazil.
The 69-year-old endured a trophyless debut season at Old Trafford but was able to guide the team to FA Cup glory in 2015-16.
He signed the likes of Ander Herrera, Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria, and Radamel Falcao for the Red Devils, but the Dutchman had bigger transfer plans for the club.
Van Gaal told FourFourTwo:”I wanted Robert Lewandowski, but when this proved difficult I tried to get Gonzalo Higuain instead.
“Before I had arrived, I also spoke with the board about Neymar. If you are at United, you have to think big. He was also interesting for the club in terms of selling shirts, and I wanted to have quick wingers. For that reason, I also tried to get Sadio Mane and Riyad Mahrez.
“Thomas Muller was on my wish list, too, and in central midfield I wanted N’Golo Kante. I even tried to sign James Milner, who was already quite old but very multi-functional and possessed leadership skills.
“For the defence, I wanted Sergio Ramos and Mats Hummels, because ours wasn’t the strongest in building from the back.
“Those were my top targets, but we couldn’t get any of them. I don’t know why, because as the manager I wasn’t involved in any negotiations. After I left, players like Mahrez and Kante ended up at Manchester City and Chelsea, while United couldn’t get them. I found that very odd.”