Manchester United bid £27m for Southampton's England international Shaw at the end of last season but the Saints have declared that they are in no position to sell their star assets and that no decision will be made on any player until they appoint a new manager.

The delay has forced United to look at alternative signings who can replace ageing French international Patrice Evra.

Reports in Spain indicate that van Gaal has earmarked Alba as the ideal alternative with the player known for his ability to run from deep.

United have handed the Dutch manager a £200m transfer kitty and the left-back position has been highlighted as one that needs strengthening.

New Barcelona coach Luis Enrique is quickly stamping his authority on the Calatan club's squad although it is thought that he is keen to keep the full-back.