MANCHESTER — On his 64th birthday, Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal saw his side beat Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 on the opening day of the season.
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At the end of his post-match press conference, van Gaal burst into a quick rendition of “When I’m Sixty-Four” by the Beatles then added: “When you hear what they are signing, all my wishes are fulfilled.”
What came before his brief song was much more important in terms of his team mounting a title challenge this season. With goalkeeper David de Gea sat in the stands for the win over Spurs, his contract saga continues with the Spaniard failing to sign a new deal at United and rumors of Real Madrid wanting to sign him, van Gaal was asked if he feels de Gea will ever play for United again.
His answer was clear and his confidence that his star goalkeeper will remain at Old Trafford past the end of the transfer window on Sept. 1 remained.
“Of course,” van Gaal explained. “Especially with the position of the goalkeeper, it is a position where you need the highest concentration, the highest focus during 90 minutes. When you are in circumstances where David de Gea is, it is difficult to cope with that. We have seen that, we have observed him in the matches against Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain, and that was not the David de Gea — he felt the same — as last year. Of course when the situation has been cleared after the first of September, we look again. But I am very happy Sergio [Romero] did well.”
As for Sergio Romero, he proved he will be an able deputy either in the short or long-term for de Gea as the Argentina international struggled with his distribution early on but made two good stops late on to grab a clean sheet on his United debut.
Even though van Gaal is confident de Gea will stay on, the situation appears far from reaching any kind of conclusion. With 24 days to go until the end of the transfer window, de Gea remains in limbo.