Manchester United’s manager Louis van Gaal spoke with the press on Friday to unveil United’s only new signing of the summer so far.
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Memphis Depay, as ever, was in confident mood in front of the press but it was what his new boss said about him and others that caught the headlines.
Van Gaal refused to confirm that the deal to sell Robin van Persie to Fenerbache has been agreed, but he did say that Italian international defender Matteo Darmian is on his way to Manchester to complete a medical.
If the Torino full back, 25, passes his medical he will sign for United in a deal worth $20 million and will then fly out with the squad next week ahead of their preseason tour in the USA. LVG also admitted his frustration at the length of the summer transfer window but insisted United will not buy new players for the sake out of it and that he prefers to “develop” the players he already has.
Asked about United’s situation up front — RVP’s impending departure and their decision to not sign Radamel Falcao permanently has left the Red Devils with just two recognized strikers in their squad, Wayne Rooney and youngster James Wilson — van Gaal gave an intriguing answer as he may try Depay in the forward position.
“It is also for me a question mark because I have to see how we solve this problem and it is also one of the reasons that we have bought Memphis because maybe you remember that he has played in the striker’s position also in the Dutch team. That was also new for him. He learns very quickly. He can play in different positions and that is also a reason we have bought him. He is one of the greatest talents of his age. We have to wait and see which position he can give the greatest benefit to the team.”
The rumor mill has been linking United with a host of top strikers across Europe following the news RVP is set to have a medical with Fenerbache. Perhaps Depay, who scored 28 goals in 40 games for PSV Eindhoven last season, is the answer instead of the rumored interest in Thomas Muller and Edinson Cavani who would both cost upwards of $75 million.
Under LVG, United have been playing either a 3-4-3 or 4-2-3-1 formation with one central striker. But if Rooney goes down injured early in the season, plenty of fingers will be pointing at van Gaal if he doesn’t manage to add another forward in the summer transfer window.