Van Gaal goes easy on de Gea amid rumours

TOE TO TOE: PSG forward Ibrahimovic - seen here with United defenders Shaw (centre) and Bastian Schweinsteiger - scored during the first half of their International Champions Cup game at Soldier Field on Wednesday. The Red Devils suffered a 2-0 defeat.


    Jul 31, 2015

    Van Gaal goes easy on de Gea amid rumours


    MANCHESTER United manager Louis van Gaal conceded that the uncertainty surrounding David de Gea was "not favourable" as the Premier League giants ended their United States tour on Wednesday with a 2-0 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain.

    De Gea, who is reportedly Real Madrid's top summer transfer target, gave a shaky goalkeeping display as the French champions exposed United's defence with soft first-half goals by Blaise Matuidi and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

    Van Gaal is hopeful that United will retain the services of de Gea this season, but acknowledged that the rumours swirling around the star goalkeeper were not helpful to either the play or the club.

    "We have a situation that is not favourable for David de Gea, but neither for us and neither for the club (Real Madrid) that maybe he wants to go (to)," said van Gaal after United's defeat at Soldier Field.

    However, the veteran Dutch coach was reluctant to be too critical of the Spaniard's performance.

    "Poor, I cannot say, but he made a mistake. That's not poor," van Gaal said.

    "Everybody can make mistakes, but when a goalkeeper makes a mistake it is mostly a goal and that's the difference."

    Despite the loss, van Gaal said he was pleased with United's performance as they build up towards their season-opening clash with Tottenham on Aug 8.

    "I'm really satisfied about the performance. You lose, maybe that's also good, because last year, we have won everything (in the US) and then we lost the first match against Swansea," van Gaal said.

    "Maybe now, the sequence is a bit different, but I'm not superstitious. I think in the first half, we have created more chances than PSG and they have created only chances with personal errors, and you cannot fight against personal errors.

    "When you're playing against (the) top level, and PSG are top level, then they can score out of these kinds of errors and they can finish the game. A top team can do that. Chelsea can do that, PSG can do that."

    United had been aiming to maintain their 100 per cent record after registering wins over Club America, San Jose Earthquakes and European champions Barcelona in their previous tour games.

    However, van Gaal's men were undone by two goals from PSG which highlighted the defensive frailty of the squad, even after the arrival of several high-profile signings.

    United began promisingly, stroking the ball around comfortably and probing for openings against the Parisian defenders.

    The Red Devils got the ball in the net after 22 minutes when Juan Mata prodded home Daley Blind's exquisite through ball, only for it to be ruled offside.

    But three minutes later, PSG struck at the other end when a long ball forward caused havoc in United's defensive unit.

    French international Matuidi raced forward and got between Luke Shaw and Phil Jones to toe-poke home past the onrushing de Gea and make it 1-0.

    PSG doubled their lead nine minutes later with a well-worked goal that came all too easily for the French champions.

    Ibrahimovic picked up the ball in midfield and released Maxwell down the left flank.

    The Brazilian fullback advanced and then calmly picked out Ibrahimovic with the return pass for the Swedish star to slot past de Gea.

    The build-up to the match had been dominated by speculation surrounding United's unsettled Argentinian star Angel di Maria, who is expected to complete a move to PSG imminently.

    PSG coach Laurent Blanc suggested afterwards that the saga may be nearing an end.

    "Wait and see," Blanc said. "Two big clubs are negotiating, the negotiations are difficult but I truly think we are close to a conclusion."