Manchester United: Is Louis Van Gaal Putting Transfer Targets Off?

Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal.
Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal at Old Trafford, Manchester, May 17. The Dutchman has one season left in a troubled three-year reign at Old Trafford. Alex Livesey/Getty

Manchester United's apparent dogged desire to keep faith in Louis Van Gaal could lead to it missing out on one of its biggest-name summer transfer targets.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, the Gabon and Borussia Dortmund striker, is one of European football's in-form players with 36 goals in 44 games this season. But according to the Daily Mail, United's perceived negative playing style under its Dutch manager may be warding off players from joining.

Van Gaal's tactics have come in for frequent and strident criticism this season, with the club's former goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel saying the football "bores him to death."

The club has already missed out on two of its most wanted names for this summer, with Renato Sanches, the Portuguese teenager, and Mats Hummels, one of Europe's most highly-regarded central defenders, both agreeing moves to Bayern Munich.

That reputation, added to United's lack of goals this season—only Stoke City in the top half of the English Premier League scored fewer—may be unattractive to the likes of Aubameyang, who has thrived on Dortmund's attacking style under manager Thomas Tuchel.

United has also missed out on the UEFA Champions League for the second time in three seasons, so while it still has major commercial pulling power it can no longer offer elite level European football, instead having to be content with the UEFA Europa League.

Despite that, Van Gaal remains in a job, with United playing in the FA Cup final on Saturday against Crystal Palace at Wembley.

Jose Mourinho remains the looming candidate to replace Van Gaal, but no formal approach is understood to have been made yet for the 53-year-old Portuguese.