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Louis coy on Angel deal

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van Gaal

van Gaal

Juan Mata

Juan Mata

Di Maria

Di Maria

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van Gaal

Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal was unwilling to confirm reports the club have agreed to sign Angel di Maria for a British record fee on the day the winger bid farewell to his Real Madrid team-mates.

Spanish newspaper Marca night reported an agreement had been reached between United and Real for the Red Devils to splash out 75 million euros (around £60million) plus add-ons for Di Maria, and that the Argentina international would fly to Manchester on Monday.

Earlier yesterday, Real boss Carlo Ancelotti - a few days after revealing Di Maria had told the Spanish outfit he wanted to leave and rejected the offer of a new contract - said the 26-year-old had not taken part in training that morning but instead "come to say goodbye''.

Meanwhile, Van Gaal gave little away on the matter when asked about it after his side's 1-1 Premier League draw at Sunderland.

"I cannot say anything about transfers, you have to understand that," the Dutchman said.

"When a transfer has been finished then we can say something.

"But now you have to wait and see. When the moment is there Manchester United shall announce it."

When asked if he was interested in bringing Di Maria to Old Trafford, Van Gaal said that could be said for several players.

"It is not only Di Maria, maybe (Arturo) Vidal or (Lionel) Messi! We are a big club," the Dutchman added.

Ancelotti's comments suggested the deal is drawing close.

The Italian said of Di Maria: ''He has come and has not practised. It's not official yet, but he came to say goodbye.

"We gave thanks for what he has done for this club and wish him luck for the future. It is not official, but it is solved. I have personally had a good relationship with him and did a fantastic job here.

"It was his decision to leave because the club did everything possible for him to stay by offering everything to him to stay.''

Meanwhile, Van Gaal admitted that a single point from his first two Premier League games as Manchester United manager is simply not good enough after his side were held at Sunderland.

United took the lead at the Stadium of Light, but were pegged back by the Black Cats, who fully deserved a share of the spoils in a 1-1 draw.

Van Gaal, whose first league game in charge ended in a 2-1 home defeat by Swansea, will now return to the training pitch as he attempts to get their season up and running.

He said: "You can never say how long it takes because when you win the next match, the confidence comes back. But we have to work a lot.

"The players are very disappointed after the game because we thought we would win.

"But still we have one point and that is not good enough for Manchester United."

Juan Mata fired the visitors into a 17th-minute lead at a time when Sunderland were threatening on a sustained basis.

However, defensive frailty proved their undoing as Jack Rodwell was allowed to head the home side level on the half-hour from a Sebastian Larsson corner.

United dominated the latter stages, but could not find a winner, although Van Gaal insisted they might have been awarded a penalty after first Robin van Persie then Ashley Young went down in the box, the latter earning a yellow card for his pains.

Asked about Young's booking, the Dutchman said: "I have said that he has been touched by the opponent in the 16m area and when it is like that there are referees who are whistling because you cannot touch players in that area because it is a risk.

"The referee wasn't whistling and nor was he for the tackle on Van Persie. I have seen the images since and I saw that Van Persie was already falling a little bit, but nevertheless the opponent takes the risk and it was a tackle on his ankle."


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