Louis van Gaal has confirmed David de Gea will not start Manchester United’s Premier League opener against Tottenham due to the distraction of his potential transfer to Real Madrid.
De Gea has continually been linked with a move to the Santiago Bernabeu throughout the transfer window, and Van Gaal revealed on Friday that he does not think the Spain goalkeeper is in the correct frame of mind to play at Old Trafford on Saturday.
“De Gea will not play – a player is also a human being,” said the Dutchman.
“He cannot manage that. We will have to see who starts.”
Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero, who joined United from Sampdoria last month, could start in place of De Gea.
Sam Johnstone, who started United’s pre-season friendlies against Club America and San Jose Earthquakes, is Van Gaal’s other goalkeeping option.
Van Gaal also announced that new signing Bastian Schweinsteiger and defender Marcos Rojo will also miss out against Tottenham as they continue to work on their fitness.
Despite De Gea’s absence, former Netherlands boss Van Gaal – who also spoke of his delight at Ashley Young penning a new three-year deal – was in upbeat mood ahead of the new Premier League season.
“I think we are far better now than last year when we started, so I have a lot of confidence,” he added.
“When we play in the same style and at the same level as the last six months of last season, then we can make a good year.”