Fresh off a dominant display against Club Brugge in the Champions League Qualifier, Louis van Gaal was bombarded with questions of transfers and contracts. The Dutchman spoke about the situation regarding Pedro, yet chastised the media for warping his words out of context. He addressed his relationship with Ed Woodward, highlighting how lines of communication between the CEO and Manager are always open.
With three wins in three games, one would reasonably expect the manager to be in a buoyant mood. Given the recent transfers of Pedro (to Chelsea) and Otamendi (to Manchester City), there were doubts raised in relation to United’s ability to wrap up transfers that were seemingly done and dusted.
In his usual manner, van Gaal explicitly mentioned that he is not at liberty to discuss the internal transfer dealings of Manchester United, citing that he trusts the opinion of United’s CEO Ed Woorward fully, categorically denying the existence of any rift between the two.
“You can write what you want, but we can’t say what we want”
While journalists continued to harp on about United’s perceived ‘failures’ and shortcomings, it was Louis van Gaal who walked out the victor on Thursday night.
In the Pre-match Press Conference Van Gaal stated that he has “The responsibility of protecting the interests of the club”
When asked about Pedro, and what Manchester United’s stance was regarding his transfer, the Dutchman simply replied ‘No’. He also clarified that though Pedro seemed like a player who fit his bill, being fast and penetrative, he never said that he was ‘interested in the player’.
After being barraged by more questions regarding the Spanish attacker, van Gaal stated simply and bluntly, ‘You’ll have to ask Pedro’, effectively putting to bed the transfer saga that has been dragged on for most of the summer. Van Gaal even called a journalist ‘A little Deaf’, after an endless line of questions that he felt he had already answered.
The pattern of repetition continued when the issue of David De Gea was raised, with the Dutchman citing clearly that ‘We Shall evaluate at the 1st of September’, keeping in perfect line with everything he has mentioned since the season’s start.
With an heir of disappointment surrounding Old Trafford after Pedro and Otamendi found homes at rival clubs, van Gaal’s emphatic defence of United’s CEO should come as no surprise.
From being maligned for his presence during the David Moyes season, Ed Woodward has worked closely with Louis van Gaal, to ensure that every single transfer target is acquired. While Pedro and Otamendi seemed like the last pieces of the puzzle, United have done enough work to ensure that that their team is strong enough to challenge on all fronts.
‘I have the idea that you [the press] want to separate Ed Woodward with me – never. Everyday I am updated by him, and I trust him’ commented van Gaal in reference to questions raised about the CEO.
United have enjoyed a tempered amount of success in the season so far, yet do know that they have a long way still to go.
A victory over Newcastle could add a precious amount of momentum in the nascent stages of the season, as Louis van Gaal aims to start the season in a stronger fashion than he did the first.