Van Gaal keeps De Gea on sidelines at Manchester Utd

AFP , Thursday 13 Aug 2015

David de Gea
Manchester United Spanish keeper David de Gea (Photo: Reuters)

Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea will not return to the squad for his side's game against Aston Villa on Friday, manager Louis van Gaal revealed on Thursday.

Spain international De Gea, 24, missed United's 1-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur last weekend because Van Gaal felt he was not in the right frame of mind due to speculation linking him with a move to Real Madrid.

New signing Sergio Romero deputised for United in their Premier League opener against Spurs and Van Gaal said the Argentina international was likely to do so again at Villa Park.

Asked if De Gea was in contention to play against Villa, Van Gaal told a press conference in Manchester: "No, it's the same situation. He remains out of the squad. Normally, Sergio Romero stays in goal."

Van Gaal also responded to criticism from former Bulgaria international Hristo Stoichkov, who played under him at Barcelona.

Stoichkov claimed that Van Gaal "destroys" clubs and urged current Barcelona forward Pedro Rodriguez not to consider a move to Old Trafford following interest from United.

"I always want to consider who is saying such things and then I know that already why," Van Gaal said.

"It is not bothering me because as a manager I have to decide a lot of things and Stoichkov is one of the players I send away and that is why he is doing that."

Van Gaal said he was still in the market to sign players before the transfer window closes early next month, but played down speculation that winger Adnan Januzaj could leave the club.

Sunderland and Everton have both been linked with the Belgium international, who was left out of United's match-day squad for the visit of Tottenham last weekend.

Away form concern

"I have 28 players and I have to select every week or every three days," Van Gaal added.

"Last week I choose our players. He is doing his best, all the players are, and I don't have any complaints. But (he) is still not for sale.

"It is always our aim to improve our squad and when it is possible we shall do it. I have said already we will only buy when it is a contribution to the selection."

United's results away from home last season were poor, with the club winning just six Premier League games on the road.

Van Gaal has demanded his side improve that statistic to enable them to sustain a challenge for the title.

"The key for success this season is improving away matches," the 64-year-old said. "We were one of the best last season at home, third in the league.

"I wanted to create a fortress at Old Trafford. We did that, but away we have to improve and we can improve because last year we were not good.

"Now we are in the beginning of the season and you have to survive the start because you have new players, new team and a new team process. The team dynamics are different.

"Every club and team has to sustain this period because nobody is 100 percent fit and they have to play. You could see that in the level of the game (against Tottenham).

"I think we have to pay attention to it and develop, but it cannot cost so many points as last year. That is the main objective."

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