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Louis van Gaal opens up on Di Maria's future

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
Van Gaal backs Di Maria to shine at United
Van Gaal backs Di Maria to shine at United

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has admitted his club record signing Angel Di Maria could leave Old Trafford this summer, but he is hopeful the Argentine winger will fight to prove his worth in England.

Di Maria has been a major disappointment since his £59.7m move from Real Madrid last summer, sparking speculation that he could make a move to Paris Saint-Germain this summer.

A break-in at his home has done little help Di Maria settle in Manchester, but Van Gaal hopes he will emerge as a United hero.

“Will he be here next season,” Van Gaal pondered. “As a manager, you can never say no or yes because the player at the end shall always decide, but I don’t think he shall move.

“Despite his incident with his wife at home, he is very pleased to be here at Manchester United.”

Van Gaal was then asked what his reaction would be if Di Maria asked to leave United and he admitted he would be open to that discussion.

“I’m always like that,” he stated. "When you see my history - that’s part of my philosophy.

“A player is not just a man who kicks the ball from A to B. Also, his environment is influencing him. So, I shall always be open for that conversation, but I know also the commercial interests of the club and we have to respect that.

“You cannot give a lot of money for a player and then next season put him out of your selection. I think that he shall stay because what I have seen in his reaction, after the defeat and after his red card against Arsenal, is very good. I like his attitude.”

Meanwhile, Van Gaal insisted he is not thinking about the consequences of failing to guide United back into the Champions League in his first season with the club.

“I am not thinking of the consequences if we don’t finish in fourth or third,” Van Gaal told reporters.

“That would be bad for the club, but why do we have to speak now about things that have not happened yet?

“I don’t think that I am here to think about the financial consequences. I’m here to manage the professional football department and I’m here because of my qualities and my philosophy. That was spoken about in the first sessions between [United executive vice-chairman] Ed Woodward and myself.

“After that, I also spoke with the [owners] Glazer family and because of that discussion, I am here now. I think they are pleased with my way of managing the club.”