• Premier League

United players face Van Gaal trial

ESPN staff
July 15, 2014
Louis van Gaal will be presented to the media on Thursday © Getty Images

Louis van Gaal will effectively put some of Manchester United's players through a series of trials when he arrives to the club as the new manager on Wednesday.

Vidal to United hits trouble

Arturo Vidal appears to be on his way out of Juventus © Getty Images
  • Manchester United are reportedly refusing to pay over the odds for Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal.
  • Vidal has been closely linked with a move to Old Trafford - and the Chile international fuelled speculation of a switch at the weekend by saying he was "relaxed" about his future, adding "all of us would like to be in one of the best teams in the world."
  • However, according to the Mirror, United are not willing to meet Juventus' asking price of £34 million for the 27-year-old. The Daily Mail reports that new United manager Louis van Gaal has opted not to pursue Vidal, even though Juventus are ready to sell."
  • But if Vidal does not move away from Juventus, he has revealed he is happy to stay at the club.
  • "I'm not thinking of where I'm going to go, I want to take advantage of my holidays with the people I love. Right now I'm thinking of other things. Afterwards, when I arrive in Italy, I'll see," he is quoted as saying on www.chilevision.cl.
  • "I'm already at a great team, Juventus, so I will be just as calm if the Manchester United option falls through."

The Dutchman is set to be presented to the media on Thursday but will meet his squad and staff 24 hours earlier and has reportedly put a block on loan deals until he has watched the squad in person.

Van Gaal flew back home to the Netherlands after guiding the Dutch to a third-place finish at the World Cup on Saturday with victory over hosts Brazil but is said to be keen to confirm his transfer plans after an early assessment .

Van Gaal has said he has only met two people at the club so far - the chief scout and the CEO - since since United confirmed him as their new manager in May.

But, according to the Daily Mail, Van Gaal has already put strict guidelines in place at Old Trafford as he has ordered the United players to eat together with the youth squad and coaching staff every day after training at Carrington.

Patrice Evra appears to be on the verge of leaving United and Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, whose contracts expired, have left. Federico Macheda and Alexander Buttner were also granted their exits but it is noticeable that most of United's fringe players have remained at the club until Van Gaal's arrival.

Anderson, who featured in just eight games and was sent out on loan to Fiorentina last season, appears the most likely to leave and will certainly be on trial.

Marouane Fellaini, who David Moyes brought with him from Everton last summer for £27.5 million, is another player whose United future is in doubt, having made 21 appearances and apparently having left Van Gaal unimpressed from afar.

Ashley Young, Shinji Kagawa and Wilfried Zaha are also vulnerable and may be either loaned out or sold.

Van Gaal is already making his mark at Old Trafford despite not being in Manchester since his appointment in May, and former United player Michael Owen believes the club have hired a "natural successor to Sir Alex Ferguson".

In his column for the Telegraph, Owen said: "If Joachim Loew is worthy of the description manager of the tournament for leading Germany to World Cup success, Van Gaal was not far behind for getting the most out of a relatively limited Dutch team and taking them to the brink of the final.

"Van Gaal is the type of manager who will walk into Old Trafford with a strut rather than a limp. He will make himself comfortable in the manager's office, absorb the enormity of what is around him and feel he belongs there. He carries that swagger of someone who backs himself on every decision and will not tolerate indecision.

"If it goes right it is down to him. If it goes wrong, it is someone else's fault. This is not a negative quality but a pre-requisite in a single-minded coach."

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