Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal has gone back on his claims that the Red Devils are “in the process” of signing a surprise striker, less than 24 hours after initially claiming to the contrary. The Dutchman also slammed the performance of new signing Bastian Schweinsteiger.
Van Gaal’s side comfortably beat San Jose Earthquakes 3-1 in their second pre-season friendly in the United States, with new signing Memphis Depay scoring his first goal for his new side. Juan Mata and Andreas Pereira also got on the score-sheet, with Pereira scoring his first goal for the senior team.
I don’t know if I want to buy a striker – Louis Van Gaal
In a press conference yesterday, the Dutch manager had said that Manchester United were in the process of signing a striker about which the media had not written about. Following these comments, there were widespread rumors that this ‘surprise’ striker was either Thomas Muller of Bayern Munich, or Fernando Llorente of Juventus. Van Gaal had said:
a Hea s in the process. Ita s not the striker that the media has written about. You have to wait and see. The transfer period is open until 31 August. You have to wait.a
In the press conference after the win over San Jose Earthquakes, the Dutch manager said:
“I don’t know if I want to buy a striker. I have read in the media the striker is the surprise. No, that’s not what I said. But you are saying that. No, I mean something else.”
In the same press conference, the 63-year-old also slammed new-signing Bastian Schweinsteiger for his ‘bad’ performance in the game, after being brought on at half time. He said:
“He [Schweinsteiger] was also bad. There was one highlight I think and that was Pereira.
“Players can play bad and certainly when you have only three days or six days training sessions in your legs and you have to play 45 minutes.
“Everybody can say that ita s easy to step in but it is not easy. I think the first match he played very well, and now he played bad. But that is also a process and certainly when you only have one week of training.”
So who is the surprise signing that Van Gaal hinted at?
Having already let go of Robin van Persie and Radamel Falcao, the Red Devils are looking to add a bit of fire-power up top, with Wayne Rooney being the only recognized striker in the Red Devils team. Rumor was rife that the surprise signing was indeed a striker, probably one of Thomas Muller or Fernando Llorente, but after Van Gaal’s denial, it looks like maybe it is a defender or a goal-keeper to which he may be hinting.
The Old Trafford outfit have been reportedly looking to add two more players to their squad in the form of a striker and defender having already signed four players in Memphis Depay, Morgan Schneiderlin, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Matteo Darmian.
Sergio Ramos and Nicolas Otamendi are believed to be their top two defensive targets. However, with the confirmation by Van Gaal that Victor Valdes will be allowed to leave in this transfer window, the club have also been linked with goal-keepers namely Jasper Cillessen and Sergio Romero. A surprise signing could be in either of these positions, of a star, not yet linked with a move to Old Trafford.