Van Gaal admits Anthony Marital fee was 'ridiculous'

Martial could make his Man Utd debut against Liverpool on Saturday
Martial could make his Man Utd debut against Liverpool on Saturday

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has admitted the fee his club paid to sign French youngster Anthony Martial was 'ridiculous', but he suggested they had no choice other than to hand over the cash in the final hours of the transfer window.

Critics have been quick to suggest the £36m signing of Martial was a panic buy by United after they failed to land a host of their top targets this summer, but Van Gaal has defended the most and suggested the attacking star could emerge as a star at Old Trafford long after he has retired as the club's manager.

Speaking to executive United season ticket holders at Lancashire County Cricket ground, Van Gaal said: "It was a ridiculous amount of money, but it's the crazy world we are in.

"United are routinely quoted £10m more for a player but I have not bought Martial for me. I have bought him for the next manager of Manchester United."

Van Gaal was in attendance at the event alongside his assistant Ryan Giggs, who he again suggested could be his successor when he steps down as manager in the summer of 2017.

"I feel I am introducing the next manager of Manchester United," he said of Giggs. 

Van Gaal offered up no comment on newspaper stories that he has been confronted by senior United players, who are reported to be frustrated by his strict training regime.