Van Gaal hits out at media after transfer near misses

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
Van Gaal in a feisty mood at his press conference
Van Gaal in a feisty mood at his press conference

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has hit back at suggestions that he has lost faith with the club's executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward after a series of unsuccessful bids to sign players in this summer's transfer window.

United have tried and failed in ambitious moves to sign Mats Hummels, Gareth Bale, Sergio Ramos and Thomas Muller in recent months, while there have been doubts over United's claims that they decided not to sign Barcelona's Pedro before he sealed a move to Chelsea.

The chain of events inspired reporters to ask Van Gaal whether he still has faith in the man charged with finalising transfer deals and he offered this feisty response.

"I have the idea you want to separate Ed Woodward with me. Never. Never," said Van Gaal. "Every day I am updated by him and I trust him.

"I don't think they have to doubt Ed Woodward (below) because he has proven for many years that he is the right person in the right spot."

Van Gaal then hit back at claims that his club missed out on the chance to sign Pedro, as he hinted they would have done the deal if they wanted to.

"When you ask me, 'Is Pedro fitting the profile?', I cannot lie, I said 'Yes'. But I do not say that I'm interested in the player. That is the difference," argued Van Gaal.

"You (the media) say I'm interested. No, I answered the question. It's different.

"What is written in the newspapers is not true, you cannot know it. Only the players know it and the clubs know it.

"I think if we want Pedro, it was not any problem so because there was a clause in his contract so it was the most easy transfer.

"You can write what you want but we cannot say what we want. I have the responsibility of protecting the interests of the club and my players and I cannot say too much."

Van Gaal went on to suggest he was not pressing Woodward to make any more signings in this transfer window, as he sidestepped questions about a possible bid for Southampton's Sadio Mane.