Van Gaal: I decide which players come to Manchester United, not Ed Woodward

While Liverpool’s transfer committee approach to new signings has been questioned this season, the coach says he is solely in charge of new arrivals

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal insists he calls the shots when it comes to player recruitment at Old Trafford.

United spent upwards of €207 million last summer on Angel Di Maria, Daley Blind, Marcos Rojo, Luke Shaw, Ander Herrera and a €8m loan deal for Radamel Falcao.

Rivals Liverpool also spent big 12 months ago but use a transfer committee system which sees multiple figures have an input into potential acquisitions, but Van Gaal says he is in sole control of arrivals.

“The club shall negotiate and then it’s out of my hands because I am not negotiating and Ed Woodward is doing that,” he told reporters. “I’m not the man who decides that.

“I don’t spend the money. I have explained how it works. I look for the players who fit in our profile and then I say to Ed Woodward, ‘okay, I want this player in the first position and the second option is that player and then we go to third when they are not available.’

“But he is negotiating, I am not negotiating. I’m not buying. For me, money is not important because the most expensive players are not playing with me or playing with me, you have to do what we want to do as a team.”

With a top-four place confirmed following Liverpool’s defeat by Crystal Palace on Saturday, United will strengthen their squad this summer and have been linked with mega-money moves for Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale and Juventus star Paul Pogba.

Di Maria moved to Old Trafford for a British-record £59.7m last August but has struggled to make an impact so far and Van Gaal says that a player’s flexibility is a better indicator of their suitability than their pricetag.

“I think the team is always better than the individual player,” he added. “Okay, I think when a player like [Lionel] Messi or [Cristiano] Ronaldo or Bale can contribute in that philosophy then they are pleased to come.

“But you never know about a player of £80m because it is not the money playing but the person is playing. He has to perform the way we want to perform as a club as Manchester United.

“So when you buy players of £80m, the pressure is unbelievably high. It’s not so easy for the player either. It’s always [dependent] on whether he can perform in the way we want so that’s the most important thing.”

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