Van Gaal laments latest injury to Rooney

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
Rooney will not play again this season
Rooney will not play again this season

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has confirmed that his captain Wayne Rooney may have kicked his last ball of the season after he limped out of last Saturday's 2-1 win at Crystal Palace with a dead leg.

Van Gaal's first year at United has been dominated by stories of injury woe and ahead of a game that his side need to win to keep alive their hopes of a top three finish and automatic qualification for next season's Champions League group stages, the curse has struck again.

Rooney is joined in the treatment room by defender Luke Shaw, who picked up an injury at Crystal Palace last week.

"The situation is not positive for us, they cannot play, neither of them," manager Louis van Gaal told MUTV.

"You cannot avoid injuries like Wayne Rooney and Luke Shaw. You cannot avoid them because football is with physical resistance and also a little bit of luck, or we are unlucky maybe.

"It is a short-term thing. We have only one match to play, so I think it will be difficult for them to play again this season."

Van Gaal offered a more positive update on Angel di Maria and Robin van Persie, with both set to be available to face Arsenal and the latter may come straight back into the team to fill the avoid left by Rooney.

"It is not a case in the transfer market that 'I want you and he comes," he added. "You can mention a lot of names. I see that I am buying everyone in the world, but it is not like that.”

Meanwhile, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger believes his side will have an advantage over United in this summer's transfer window if they secure a top three finish and avoid a Champions League play-off at the start of next season.

“Players you talk to think most of the time you play Champions League, but they are not sure, so it is easier if you can say we are in the Champions League for sure,” said Wenger.

“It’s very important to avoid the play-off. Serene preparation and not having that kind of stress over your head from the first day you start again.

"We know what it means and we know it is always tricky because you can play against teams in the middle of their season and you are still in preparation.

“It is the pressure and the consequences of not qualifying that is massive. Now the international competitions mean you cannot start the season with all your players and you cannot give a long enough rest when they have played international games.”