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Rooney happy to front up as Van Gaal's main striker

By Paul Hirst

Published 25/07/2015

Hitman: Wayne Rooney will play up front for United
Hitman: Wayne Rooney will play up front for United

Wayne Rooney has no problem bearing the responsibility of being Manchester United's main marksman next season.

Rooney spent a large chunk of last season in midfield, but manager Louis van Gaal has told the 29-year-old he will be playing up front next term.

The United captain scored 15 goals last season and he is not fazed by the prospect of having to match or better that tally this season.

"It is a position where I think I can score goals," Rooney said.

"Hopefully I can do that. I am ready to take that mantle on and be the one who gets the goals for us."

Van Gaal endured a difficult start to his reign last season, picking up just 13 points from his first 10 matches.

But the Dutchman guided United back into the Champions League and Rooney is hoping the team will kick on during this season.

Meanwhile Angel di Maria has agreed to join Manchester United's pre-season tour of the United States even though he appears to be edging closer to a move to Paris St Germain.

PSG are interested in signing Di Maria, who endured a difficult first season at Old Trafford following his £59.7m move from Real Madrid.

United have refused to comment on reports they have agreed a fee of £46m with the French champions for the Argentinian, who has struggled to settle in the Manchester area following an attempted burglary at his Cheshire home.

Louis van Gaal gave Di Maria, Marcos Rojo and Javier Hernandez an extended period of leave this summer following their international commitments at the Copa America and Gold Cup.

But they were all due to report for duty today and that still remains the case despite speculation a deal for Di Maria is almost done.

"I expect them (Di Maria, Rojo and Hernandez) here tomorrow," the United manager said at a press conference in San Jose yesterday.

"We have communicated (with them) and they have responded to that."

Van Gaal refused to discuss whether Di Maria is leaving for PSG.

"I am not answering questions about transfers or the process in transfers," he said.

Interestingly, United's fourth and final game of the tour is against PSG in Chicago on Thursday morning.

Of the four new arrivals already at Old Trafford, Rooney has been particularly impressed by Bastian Schweinsteiger - the German World Cup winner who joined from Bayern Munich for £15m.

"He is obviously a fantastic player. Everyone has known that over the years," Rooney said.

"He is a great addition to the team and I feel it will be a very good signing for us.

"I am sure they will all be great signings," added the club captain.

Belfast Telegraph

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