Van Gaal downplays Man Utd’s need for transfers

The Dutchman has been pleased with the performance of his Red Devils squad in pre-season and suggests they may have no need to bring in reinforcements

By Alex Moretto in Ann Arbor

Louis van Gaal says he is not growing anxious with the lack of transfer activity by Manchester United, despite the start of the Premier League season being just two weeks away.

With England’s top teams gearing up for the first weekend of the campaign on August 16, the Red Devils have been stagnant in the transfer window in recent weeks since the signings of Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw.

Despite being heavily linked to a number of players, including Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal, the Dutchman does not yet feel pressure to bolster his squad and claims the gap in transfer activity is down to a desire to test out the current crop.

“I want to see the players I have in the team first to give them an honest chance,” Van Gaal told reporters ahead of their International Champions Cup friendly clash with Real Madrid on Saturday.

“We have got a month to go still, and we are winning everything – maybe we don’t need other players.”

Despite a limited amount of time to train under their new manager, Manchester United have posted a perfect record thus far on their North American tour and Van Gaal has been enjoying getting stuck in as David Moyes’ replacement.

“The tour is a burden for my wife, but not for me. I’m anxious to win. I’m a coach who always wants to win and Manchester United are a team who are used to winning, so I think tomorrow my players will show this,” he added.

“I think the commercial aspect is also important, but we are playing some of the best teams in Europe, which is a challenge for us and reason enough to play here.

“We have an accumulation of tiredness from travelling, training and matches, so I have to think about the line-up and how many players I should change. I want to play with our stronger line-up for 60 minutes.”

The 62-year-old also stressed he would stick to his guns regarding United’s tactical change to a 3-5-2, which he used with Netherlands at the World Cup this summer, despite three centre-backs being an unfamiliar sight at Old Trafford.

“From the first moment that I arrived in Manchester I have played with five defenders. Maybe there comes a time where I have to play with four defenders but, for now, all my training sessions are designed for a five defender system.”

Defender Chris Smalling was spotted training separately from the team on Friday night, under the supervision of their fitness coach. Van Gaal confirmed the defender picked up a minor knock and will not be able to face Real Madrid for precautionary reasons.

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