The Daily Star Sunday says Van Gaal will revive United's bid for Arsenal's Vermaelen this week.
Central defender Vermaelen, 28, can also play left-back, and that is key in Van Gaal's long-term plans.
He wants to work with a small squad of 22 players and that means several of his side will need to be able to play in more than one position.
Arsenal want £12m for Vermaelen and United have so far offered £6m.
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