Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal expects to retain his star plays, despite the likelihood of no Champions League football at Old Trafford next season.
After finishing fourth in 2014-15, fifth-placed United are battling to claim the final Champions League qualification place, with under pressure boss Van Gaal and Co. four points adrift of Manchester City heading into the remaining six Premier League games.
Even if United do finish fourth, they could be forced to play in the Europa League if City and Liverpool triumph in Europe.
But Van Gaal, who is aware failure to qualify for the Champions League could cost him his job amid speculation Jose Mourinho is set to replace him at the season’s end, does not fear a player exodus in Manchester.
“There is not any player who wants to go away, I think,” the Dutchman said ahead of Saturday’s hosting of relegation-bound Aston Villa.
“And when another club wants to pay the figures that the board of Manchester United demand, then it is possible.
“But that is dependent on the board, of the decision of the board if a player can go.”
When pressed again whether players want to leave for Champions League football, Van Gaal said he doubted it before highlighting the fact that goalkeeper David de Gea signed a new contract after his move to Real Madrid collapsed in September.
“You have said that he is going to Real Madrid,” he said. “I have said always that he stays. You remember that?
“And now you are asking how long he has to stay? Come on. First you have to say: ‘OK, sorry that I have written that. Sorry.’
“Ask him, ask him. Maybe he said something about that. But not to me.”