Saturday 25 January 2020

Louis van Gaal expecting a busy four days in the transfer window

Manchester United's new signing Angel Di Maria poses for a photograph with his shirt and manager Louis van Gaal at Old Trafford
Manchester United's new signing Angel Di Maria poses for a photograph with his shirt and manager Louis van Gaal at Old Trafford

Andy Hampson

Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal expects to be busy before the transfer window closes on Monday.

Van Gaal wants to bring in more players and send others on their way to further reshape his squad after a dismal start to the season.

United took their summer spending to £131.7million this week as they landed Angel di Maria from Real Madrid for a British record £59.7million.

With United yet to win a game in three attempts this season - including a humiliating Capital One Cup loss at MK Dons - Van Gaal does not want to stop there.

Arturo Vidal of Juventus and Sporting Lisbon's William Carvalho are among those to have been heavily linked with Old Trafford while reports suggest several players could be allowed to leave.

Javier Hernandez, Danny Welbeck, Tom Cleverley and Shinji Kagawa are all reportedly attracting interest from elsewhere.

Van Gaal, speaking at a press conference to unveil Di Maria, said: "I had a conversation after lunch with the players and I said maybe after this weekend we shall have another group, because players shall go away and others shall come in."

One difficulty facing United, however, Van Gaal believes, is an apparent reluctance of other clubs to sell to them.

A perception has grown that players are less willing to move to United given their lack of European football this season, but Van Gaal insists problems are more to do with selling clubs.

He said: "We know already in advance what players we want and sometimes you can have them but sometimes no.

"It is also dependent on the club - more the club than the players, because the players want to come, all (of them)."

Van Gaal has promised that the defence will improve. The players so far deployed in Van Gaal's three-man back line have looked uncomfortable in the system.

Van Gaal said: "I think that we have no problem when the opponent has the ball because we have defended very well.

"Our problem is when we have the ball and have to build up the play and that we have to improve.

"I don't think our defence is weak. Our build-up is still not good enough. We shall improve that and that will take time."

Di Maria, meanwhile, has the potential to excite fans.

Van Gaal has no doubts the Argentina star - man of the match in last season's Champions League final - will fit into his system but has warned not expect magic immediately.

He said: "He played in Real Madrid not only as a wide wing player but also in midfield, so that is a reason why we are convinced he shall succeed.

"But we cannot expect after two days' training that he is the miracle what I already read (about). No, you have to work for the miracle and he knows that."

Online Editors

The Left Wing: Schools rugby special - 'The St Michael’s dream team are the side to beat'

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport