Belfast Telegraph

Van Gaal is adamant De Gea will stay at Old Trafford

By Paul Hirst

Louis van Gaal insists David de Gea will not leave Manchester United before the transfer window shuts.

De Gea will once again be in the stands when United take on Newcastle at Old Trafford today because the Dutchman feels the Real Madrid target is still not able to focus properly.

According to reports in Spain, the 10-time European champions will make one last attempt to sign the goalkeeper before the window shuts on September 1, but after a week in which United's reputation took a blow following Pedro's move to Chelsea, Van Gaal came out fighting.

Van Gaal insists the lure of Manchester United remains as strong as their desire to hold on to their two-time player of the year.

"I think when Manchester United want a player he shall come, besides when a club is not selling," the United manager said.

"It is the same with us. We are not selling De Gea."

Van Gaal launched a passionate defence of executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward despite the fact that former target Pedro signed for Chelsea this week, rather than United.

"You want to separate Ed Woodward from me. Never. Never,'' Van Gaal said. "Every day I am updated by him and I trust him.

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

Senior sources at Old Trafford insisted this week that it was Van Gaal, not Pedro, who pulled the plug on the pursuit of the forward and the United boss seemed to corroborate that yesterday.

"I think when we wanted Pedro it was not a problem because there was a clause in his contract,'' Van Gaal said. "It was the easiest transfer. I have said before what we are doing is guiding a process and in that process we make decisions.''

It is understood Van Gaal has now turned his attention to Southampton winger Sadio Mane.

Van Gaal said he would not speak publicly on Mane as he did not want to "interfere'' with the club's pursuit of the Senegalese.

He added: "I cannot interfere. It's for Ed Woodward and he is doing things very well, I think.''

If history is anything to go by, Van Gaal will be able to rely on one of his current crop to find the goals against Newcastle.

Wayne Rooney has scored 11 goals in 17 league starts for United against the Magpies but has yet to find the net this season.

Van Gaal backed him to hit form soon. He said: "He is very confident that he shall score and I am confident also."

Premier League: Old Trafford, 12.45pm (BT Sport)

Man United


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