Sunday 21 January 2018

Van Gaal reveals United moved for Depay to see off PSG

Depay: United bound
Depay: United bound

Mark Ogden

Louis van Gaal has admitted he was forced to accelerate a £22m move for Memphis Depay to prevent the Holland winger signing for Paris Saint-Germain.

Depay, the PSV Eindhoven youngster, has become Manchester United's first signing of the summer after agreeing a four-year deal at Old Trafford, despite strong interest from PSG and Liverpool.

But Van Gaal, who selected Depay for his Dutch World Cup squad last year, admitted he would have waited until the end of the season to sign the player had PSG not been ready to pounce.

"I have been forced to sign him before the end of this season," said Van Gaal. "We have to focus on the remaining games but when you sign a new player you can disturb the focus of the current ones. But because of the market, we had to handle this because otherwise he would have signed for Paris Saint-Germain. Because of the club's relationship with PSV, I could handle it."

United signed Jaap Stam and Ruud van Nistelrooy from the Dutch giants in the past.

Van Gaal, meanwhile, has confirmed that midfielder Michael Carrick will miss the rest of the season because of a calf injury.

United have lost all three games without Carrick since the England international suffered the injury against Manchester City last month.

"Carrick is not available, it was more serious than we thought," said Van Gaal. "We tried everything but now we have to think about next season. He shall not play anymore this season, it's better now to focus for him on next season and being fit to start."

United travel to Crystal Palace this evening aiming to edge closer to qualification for the Champions League by avoiding suffering a fourth successive league defeat for the first time since February 1979.

But with Liverpool moving to within four points of his team, Van Gaal insisted he was not worried about Brendan Rodgers's side.

"I think Liverpool have to worry because they have to regain points, not us," Van Gaal said. "It is in our own hands. I have given my players an extra day off to clean their heads and recover the body. An extra day, because of the three defeats in a row.

"But we played those matches not in a bad way. Against Chelsea, we played our best match so I don't think the confidence is lower than before, but we have to finish." (©Daily Telegraph, London)

Crystal Palace v Manchester Utd, live, Sky Sports 1, 5.30

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