Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal believes embattled winger Angel di Maria will remain at the club amid doubts surrounding his future, though the Dutchman concedes the decision rests in the player’s hands.
Di Maria signed a five-year deal with United for a British record transfer fee of £59.7 million last August but the former Real Madrid star is already being linked with a move away from Old Trafford, with French champions Paris Saint-Germain reportedly interested.
The Argentina international has not started a match since he was sent off in United’s 2-1 FA Cup quarter-final loss to Arsenal in March but Van Gaal has been impressed by the 27-year-old’s attitude.
“I think Di Maria shall stay. He cannot say that he has had a marvellous season here, but he is working very hard. I am pleased with his attitude, so that is not a problem,” Van Gaal told reporters.
“The manager and the club is always dependable on the opinion of the player himself. The player decides, so we shall see what he decides.
“The decision is not only [down] to him because we have a contract, so we shall speak always with every player and evaluate, as I always do. Then we speak with each other about the future, and that is [the case] with every player.”
Asked whether last year’s FIFA World Cup has worn out Di Maria, Van Gaal replied: “I hope! 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.
“You have to adapt to our philosophy and that is also difficult for him, probably. Normally he shall have a fantastic season, I believe in that.”
While Van Gaal expects Di Maria to be at the club next season, the Dutch boss revealed plans are well underway to add reinforcements to the playing squad.
United have been linked with off-season moves for Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale, Borussia Dortmund duo Mats Hummels and Ilkay Gundogan, as well as PSV Eindhoven starlet Memphis Depay.
“This summer is very important, of course. We need balance in our selection. I cannot deny that. But we are very busy with that,” Van Gaal added.
“I am looking for players who fit in as my players, so that has to be a quicker adaptation than players who I have received when I came here in Manchester United.”
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