Manchester United recently invited former Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes to train with the team to help in his rehabilitation from injury. With the Spaniard a free agent, rumours were rife whether this was a transfer waiting to happen or simply a case of a manager helping out a player.
Van Gaal addressed those doubts for the media in his press conference before the Chelsea game.
“It is not a surprise because I have done it with lots of players. I have a relationship with a lot of them. I gave Ronald de Boer and Edgar Davids training possibilities in the past – Valdes is one of these players. Robin van Persie also. ”
“When he played for me in the Dutch squad, I allowed him to use our medical department to keep fit for the World Cup. I wasn’t the manager of United at the time, so I have always done it.”
When quizzed about whether the club were looking to sign Valdes in the future, Van Gaal was coy in his reply, “United always have their eyes open.”
With David De Gea continuing his rapid rise in the world of football, it would be a surprise to see Valdes in United colours.
Another way of looking at is Anders Lindegaard’s growing frustration at Old Trafford. The Dane is reportedly looking for first team action, so signing Valdes could make sense if the club are looking to offload Lindegaard.
Fellaini out, Guarin in?
It’s not been a great year for Belgian midfielder Marouane Fellaini. After an injury-prone start to his Manchester United career, the Belgian had to stand by and watch as David Moyes, the manager who brought him from Standard Liege to Everton and then to United, was sacked just ten months into the job.
Fellaini also missed most of the 2014 pre-season, and only recently returned to first team action. The Belgian was on the scoresheet against West Brom and would be looking to cement a first-place team, albeit with stiff competition from summer recruits Ander Herrera and Daley Blind.
The Metro suggests, based on reports coming out of Spain, that the Manchester United hierarchy is planning to let go of Fellaini and replace him with Inter Milan and Colombian midfielder Fredy Guarin, as Louis Van Gaal looks set to further stamp his identity on the team.
Quite why Fellaini would be told to leave after just returning to action is a mystery, and with Louis Van Gaal’s penchant for always giving players a chance to prove themselves, the Guarin story should be taken with a pinch of salt.