Club chiefs are increasingly unsure the Dutchman will stay for next season and they are reluctant to spend big on players his successor may not want.
Manchester United have put their major transfers on hold because of the increasing uncertainty over Louis van Gaal’s future.
United’s hierarchy also have growing doubts about the Dutchman’s long-term position, and he will not survive at the Old Trafford giants if he does not deliver Champions League football for next season.
Club chiefs’ concerns over Van Gaal’s future have increased in recent weeks, prompting them to place their big deals on the back-burner.
United were investigating the possibility of signing £35million-rated Felipe Anderson from Italian club Lazio this month.
Lazio were prepared to do business, but the Red Devils have shelved their interest in the Brazilian midfielder until Van Gaal’s future is resolved.
They do not want to spend big on players in January, only for Van Gaal to leave in the summer and find his successor does not want the men signed in the winter window.
United have ambitious plans for the close-season, including another move for Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale, and will wait until then before splashing out in the transfer market.
The decision to step back from any major deals this month underlines the growing uncertainty over Van Gaal’s position.
United were prepared, as recently as last month, to let the 64-year-old see out the final year of his contract.