Van Gaal confident Di Maria will remain a United player

Paul Hirst 06:43 02/05/2015
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Disappointed: Louis van Gaal.

Louis van Gaal has been disappointed with Angel di Maria’s first year at Manchester United but still expects the British record signing to stay at Old Trafford this summer.

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The 27-year-old has been linked with a move back to Spain or to Paris Saint-Germain after failing to start any of United’s last six games.

Di Maria’s family were also subjected to a terrifying burglary in January while the midfielder was playing in United’s home game against Leicester.

Van Gaal says Di Maria has a decision to make about his future, but he insists he cannot just walk away from Old Trafford – and the Dutchman believes he will stay anyway.

“I think Di Maria shall stay,” the United manager said. “He is working hard. I am pleased with his attitude, so that is not a problem.

“The manager and the club is always dependable on the opinion of the player himself. The player decides. We shall see what he decides.

“The decision is not only to him because now we have a contract, so we shall speak always with every player – evaluation, as I always do.

“Then we speak with each other about the future, and that is with every player. “He cannot say that he has had a marvellous season here.

The issue that he is not always in the line-up is for him a disappointment, but also for me a disappointment.”

The former Barcelona coach conceded there is no guarantee that the player will perform better next season after a long holiday.

“I hope,” Van Gaal said with a chuckle when asked if the World Cup was the reason behind Di Maria’s poor form. “You cannot always say that is the main factor. Of course, it plays a role, and I hope it is that, because then we can have a fantastic season next season.”

Van Gaal says he faces an “important summer” in the transfer market. The Dutchman spent £150million (Dh834m) last year and he will be afforded a similar budget this summer.

A central midfielder is a priority, with Borussia Dortmund’s Ilkay Gundogan understood to be high on Van Gaal’s shopping list.

Gareth Bale would be of interest to the club if he became available, but the signs are that Real Madrid are unwilling to sell the player for anything short of a fortune and the Welshman himself is understood to be happy with life in the Spanish capital.

Whoever he brings in, Van Gaal is confident United will be able to challenge for the Premier League title, rather than just for the top four.

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