Louis van Gaal has revealed that he made attempts to sign Bayern Munich and Germany duo Mats Hummels and Thomas Muller during his time at Manchester United.
Hummels had been linked with an Old Trafford move since the days of Sir Alex Ferguson and was reportedly subject to an approach from Man United in 2015.
Muller, on the other hand, was an obvious target for Van Gaal, who relentlessly pursued him, but Bayern made it clear from the start that the German striker wasn’t for sale under any circumstances.
And the Dutchman has recently revealed that, while no official approach was made for Hummels, extensive efforts went towards bringing Muller to Old Trafford.
“I wanted to sign Hummels for Manchester United,” he said. “But because at that time he was coming out of a poorer season, we didn’t do it in the end.”
“I can confirm that I wanted Muller. But there was nothing we could do. FC Bayern made it clear that they would not sell him.”
Only a handful of Van Gaal’s transfer decisions made the slightest bit of sense; even a smaller number actually seemed to be driven by him, with the club determined to consolidate their lofty status in the face of bad results with signings like Angel di Maria, Radamel Falcao, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Memphis Depay – players that brought great excitement to supporters but never really looked at home on the pitch.
But Muller and Hummels both feel like players that would have been a more natural fit under Van Gaal’s regimented, calculated approach going forward, although one can hardly blame them for choosing Bayern – a club that has always played the kind of football Van Gaal likes, only with a vital gloss of forward impetus and precision – instead of Old Trafford during that murky era of the club’s history.