Friday 28 October 2016

'I don't have to answer this question' - Van Gaal at loggerheads with 'interfering' press

Manchester United have confirmed that they have no interest in signing PSG's Edinson Cavani or Felipe Anderson of Lazio, though a left back may be targeted.

Published 22/01/2016 | 15:10

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal, pictured, is delighted by Wayne Rooney's return to form
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal, pictured, is delighted by Wayne Rooney's return to form

Manchester United have distanced themselves from reports that they are planning to make a move for Paris Saint-Germain striker Edinson Cavani in this transfer window.

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Old Trafford officials were quick to deny a report that they held talks with outgoing Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola in Paris last week and now they have also dismissed stories linking Cavani with a move to Old Trafford.

The Manchester Evening News are among those reporting that Cavani is not a player United will consider signing in this transfer window, even though the Uruguayan's advisers are believed to have been active in trying to set up a lucrative move for their client in recent weeks.

United have also let it be known that Lazio attacking midfielder Felipe Anderson is not on their radar, with club officials suggesting they are unlikely to make big-name signings in the final few days of this transfer window.

That suggestion would back up claims that the future of head coach Louis van Gaal is in doubt beyond the end of this season, with the Dutchman offering up these comments when asked about reports that he is set to bring forward his retirement by a year and call time on his Old Trafford reign next summer.

“I don’t think that the press have to help me with my decisions,” he stated. “First they have sacked me and now they are interfering with my future. I don’t think I have to answer this question.”

United take on Southampton in the Premier League on Saturday, with Van Gaal facing up to a defensive injury crisis after he confirmed that make-shift full-back Ashley Young is out for an extended period with a groin injury.

Young joins Antonio Valencia, Luke Shaw and Marcos Rojo on the sidelines, with Van Gaal admitting he is likely to turn to young players to plugs the gaps rather than make moves in the transfer market.

“I have used youngsters a lot of times and they are doing great but the level of Man United is high and to give a high performance every week is very difficult for the youngsters,” he added.

“That’s why we have to look especially in the transfer period for replacements, but the difficulty is we ask for a level, so we are looking but it is not easy.”

If United fail to make a big-money signing in this January window, it will replicate the scenario from a year ago, when keeper Victor Valdes was the only notable addition on a free transfer.

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