Lionel Messi Argentina Benedikt Howedes Mats Hummels Germany
Benedikt Howedes and Mats Hummels could become Manchester United players in the future if Louis Van Gaal has hiw wayReuters

Manchester United manager, after seeing Germany waltz to the World Cup title, is planning a triple swoop on the Bundesliga, with two of them being Mats Hummels and Ilkay Gundogan from Borussia Dortmund, and the other Benedikt Howedes of Schalke.

Howedes and Hummels played a major part in Germany's run to the World Cup crown, while Gundogan, no doubt, would have been in the squad as well had he been fit.

Hummels has been linked with a move to Manchester United for quite a while now, with the centre-back reportedly considering his future away from Borussia Dortmund, following their pathetic first half of the season.

Arsenal are also reportedly interested in the defender's signature and the two English Premier League giants are set to battle it out for Hummels' signature, be that in the January transfer window or next summer.

Hummels is reportedly pondering on which club to choose, having received offers from both Manchester United and Arsenal, according to the Daily Star.

If Van Gaal can persuade Hummels to join Manchester United, the defender could see his teammate Gundogan join him at Old Trafford.

The midfielder was heavily linked with a move to Real Madrid a couple of summer ago, before an injury cut short his meteoric rise to stardom. Gundogan, when on form, is the kind of midfielder you just want to watch and watch, and the 24-year-old will add that extra something special to the Manchester United squad if he makes a move.

Gundogan's current contract with Dortmund runs out in the summer of 2016, and the Germany international has reportedly said he will not be signing a new deal, according to the Daily Express.

That gives Manchester United the chance to swoop in and make a deal, with Dortmund loathe on losing another player on a free transfer, having watched Robert Lewandowski sign for Bundesliga rivals Bayern Munich for nothing after his contract ran out last summer.

The third German in Van Gaal's sights is Howedes, who admitted recently he would consider a move away from Schalke if the right offer came about, even if he stressed he is quite happy at his current club.

Howedes is another player to be linked with both Manchester United and Arsenal, hardly surprising, as both teams could use a versatile defender, and the 26-year-old, who can play across the backline as well as in defensive midfield, will certainly be the least expensive of the trio.

Convincing Schalke, who are still in the Champions League, where they will face holders Real Madrid in the last 16, to sell will not be easy, while Howedes will probably want to wait until the end of the season, before deciding on a possible move away.