• Premier League

Di Maria ready for debut but Rojo still out

ESPN staff
August 29, 2014
Di Maria: I want to do as much as Ronaldo

Manchester United will again be without Marcos Rojo but Louis van Gaal says Angel Di Maria is ready to make his debut against Burnley tomorrow.

Rojo signed for United for £16 million from Sporting Lisbon more than a week ago but the club say he is unavailable because of work permit issues, though sources have told ESPN there are also third-party issues to be overcome.

The defender has had to leave the United Kingdom and go to the British embassy in Madrid whereas his fellow Argentina international Di Maria, who holds an Italian passport, will be allowed to feature at Turf Moor.

"I cannot change the law of Argentina," Van Gaal quipped at a news conference.

"I am a simple manager of Manchester United. It is maybe the biggest club in the world but I cannot change the law so we have to obey the law and it takes more time than is suitable for me but the president of Argentina doesn't care."

Rojo will be one of 11 United players who miss out at Burnley, with 10 others - including summer signings Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw plus Michael Carrick, Marouane Fellaini and Shinji Kagawa - sidelined by injuries.

But British-record £59.7m signing Di Maria will feature, with Van Gaal adding to MUTV: "He is fit enough, he is ready to play. He has played a match in Madrid [in the Super Cup first leg]. He has a lot of hunger to play. He wants to support Manchester United."

Van Gaal is yet to win a competitive game as United manager, with just one point taken from their two opening Premier League games against at home to Swansea and at Sunderland, before the 4-0 League Cup humiliation at MK Dons.

However, he feels nothing has changed since he was lauded during pre-season, when United recorded six victories from as many matches.

"I have read the articles also and I was the king in the United States and now I am not a king any more," he added.

"I am the same Louis van Gaal with the same record and the same philosophy and I am very confident that I shall succeed here and I have said already that I need time.

It takes always three months, that players are used to the other philosophy because it is not so easy [to adapt]."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
ESPN staff Close