Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal will tell his unwanted players they will be sold after the club’s U.S. tour, he has confirmed. Speaking at a news conference ahead of the International Champions Cup final against Liverpool, the Dutchman confirmed he would tell the players face-to-face whether or not they had any realistic chance of playing for him in the new Premier League season.
A long list of players, including Marouane Fellaini, Anderson, Nani, Shinji Kagawa, Javier Hernández and Wilfried Zaha are among those who are expected to exit Old Trafford before the transfer window deadline. Van Gaal said he wanted to give the players enough time to negotiate deal at other clubs. Hernández scored the final goal in the 3-1 victory over Real Madrid in the International Champions Cup over the weekend, but van Gaal was less then generous with his compliments, instead focusing on what the Mexican did wrong in the game. Hernández has become a target for Inter Milan in recent weeks and so Serie A could be a realistic destination for him.
Fellaini has also been linked with a move to Italy with Napoli reportedly interested in signing the player. However, the Italians have so far refused to comment on the speculation. United are said to want $25 million for the player, who was signed for just under double that figure when he joined from Everton last summer. Then United boss David Moyes faced a lot of criticism when the deal went through, with many claiming he paid well over the odds for the player he used to manage at Goodison Park.
Van Gaal will endeavor to give numerous players 90 minutes against old rivals Liverpool in the International Champions Cup final today, as he works toward finding his best XI ahead of the United’s opening Premier League match against Swansea City. Although Robin van Persie has made a late return to training after a three-week holiday after the World Cup, van Gaal said it is unlikely his fellow countryman will be fit enough to start the season. Belgium internationals Fellaini and Adnan Januzaj have also returned to training following the tournament in Brazil.
United will go into the match with Liverpool buoyed by impressive victories against LA Galaxy, Roma, Inter, and Real en route to the final. Furthermore, with a number of players playing for their futures, the match against their old foes could be spicier than usual. Liverpool have also had an impressive pre-season run, but will have to face United without the injured Daniel Sturridge who has returned to England for treatment. Rickie Lambert is expected to start for his new club despite a number of poor performances and no goals to his name so far during pre-season.
Regardless of the result against Liverpool, van Gaal will use this final match of the US tour to decide which players have a future at Old Trafford and which ones he will sell before the end of August. Around six players or more could be turning out for United for the last time today and van Gaal will tell the players straight after the game just who has made the cut.
Commentary by Robert Shepherd