LVG: Man Utd don't need Champions League to sign star names
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has insisted his club will attract world class talent this summer - even if they fail to qualify for the Champions League.
In fresh comments that appear to confirm Van Gaal is expecting to remain in charge of United for a third season despite incessant speculation over his future, the Dutchman has spoken about his plans to add star names to his squad for next season.
United need a win against title chasing Tottenham at White Hart Lane on Sunday to stay in touch with Manchester City and Arsenal in the race for a top four finish that will secure qualification for next season’s Champions League and, probably, cement Van Gaal’s position at Old Trafford.
“Qualifying for the Champions League would help me when I am speaking to players in the summer, it always helps,” said Van Gaal.
“But I want to stress that Manchester United are such a big club, and our salaries are so good here, that players will come here even if we don’t qualify for the Champions League.
“Playing in the Champions League is very important for players, but I also think that Manchester United are big enough to attract top players.”
Van Gaal went on to suggest he would not be interested in signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic for United this summer, despite speculation linking the Swede with a move to Old Trafford.
“I think it is unbelievable what he is doing," he said of the veteran striker. "I saw the game against Manchester City, and it was a big disappointment for me because he should have scored two times at least.
“Paris Saint-Germain is Zlatan and that is fantastic. When a manager like me, who favours the team (and not individuals), is saying that, that is a compliment for him."
He added that Ibrahimovic's age was a factor that would block a move to United, suggesting that is why he allowed ageing stars like Robin van Persie to leave: “He’s already 34 and I just spoke about the age I let go," he stated.
Van Gaal also confirmed a theory that many United fans have been stating for some time, as he admitted captain Wayne Rooney will be assured of a place in his team when he returns from his spell in the treatment room with a knee injury.
United fans have accused Van Gaal of being blinkered in his eagerness to pick Rooney regardless of his form and now he has admitted that policy will continue for as long as he is the boss at Old Trafford.
“There is only one player who has a privilege here,” he added. “That’s Wayne Rooney because he is my captain.”