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Five potential mystery strikers for Van Gaal at Man Utd

After rebuilding Manchester United’s midfield ranks, Louis van Gaal has revealed that he is now close to securing a new forward for next season, when he hopes to challenge for silverware success (20/1 with Coral to win Champions League).

“He’s in the process,” Van Gaal revealed. “It’s not the striker that the media has written about. You have to wait and see. The transfer period is open until August 31. You have to wait.”

Following the Dutch boss’ remarks, here are five potential mystery strikers which the Red Devils could capture before the summer transfer window slams shut.

Soccer - German Bundesliga - FC Bayern Munich training

Mario Gomez
German frontman Gomez linked up with Van Gaal during two seasons at Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga between 2009 and 2011, helping his then coach become the first Dutchman to lift the German title.

It was in Gomez’ second campaign with the German giants, and in what turned out to be Van Gaal’s last, that the current Fiorentina striker took off, finishing the Bundesliga season as top scorer with 28 strikes.

Could Van Gaal see Gomez as a quick-fix at Old Trafford? The 30-year-old has been linked to Liverpool, and what a way to instantly win over the United faithful, by rejecting their rivals in favour of a Manchester arrival.

Netherlands Champions League Soccer

Graziano Pelle
Italy and Southampton sharpshooter Pelle arrived in the Premier League last summer and made an instant impact, netting 10 times before the end of October.

Despite a mid-season blip, the former Eredivisie dangerman recovered and finished the campaign with an impressive 18 goals in all competitions.

Van Gaal also worked closely with Pelle during two seasons at Dutch outfit AZ Alkmaar earlier in their careers, where they rallied to a historic title triumph, despite the Saints star enduring a difficult spell in front of goal.

Having gained valuable experience of the top-flight last season, could Van Gaal lure his rejuvenated former frontman to Old Trafford?

The Dutch boss holds an uneasy relationship with fellow countryman Ronald Koeman, but Pelle would surely be unlikely to turn down such a huge career opportunity. Watch this space.

Italy Soccer Serie A

Fernando Llorente
Juventus’ towering Basque frontman has been linked with Man Utd ever since he delightfully struck past the Red Devils in both legs of their Europa League last-16 tie in 2012.

Llorente would provide a great deal of strength going forward, and also possesses a lot more technical astuteness than Marouane Fellaini, who was regularly deployed up front last term.

The Spain international hitman is reportedly in talks with Real Madrid, as Rafa Benitez seeks a new frontman, but for the right price, Van Gaal could poach him from under the Galacticos’ nose.

World Cup 2014 - Semi final - Netherlands vs Argentina

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar
Having now reached 31 years of age, deadly Dutchman Huntelaar could be seen as the perfect impact striker to have in the Old Trafford ranks, taking the place of compatriot Robin van Persie.

The former Real Madrid and AC Milan marksman has played under Van Gaal at international level for the Netherlands, including at last summer’s World Cup, and could provide his previous mentor with a clinical back-up to Wayne Rooney in attack.

Soccer - Ligue 1 - Lyon v Bastia - Stade de Gerland

Alexandre Lacazette
It’s no surprise that clubs around Europe have been tracking the France international frontman, who enjoyed a sensational season with Lyon (10/1 to win Ligue 1 2015/16).

Lacazette was simply superb, notching 31 goals in all competitions last term, including 27 in Ligue 1 as he finished the top scorer in France’s top-flight and earned himself a place in his country’s senior set-up.

Now 24, Van Gaal may have to pay a substantial amount to lure Lyon’s prized asset away from them, with the striker also having stated his desire to remain in France. Although, that of course means little in the current climate. Just ask Fabian Delph.