Although often unconventional, there’s one thing you can always expect from Louis Van Gaal: honesty.
And right on cue ahead of Manchester United’s clash with Liverpool on Saturday (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via Live Extra) the manager has delivered his trademark bluntness to sum up the $55 million his side paid for French teenager Anthony Martial on transfer Deadline Day.
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Martial, 19, signed from AS Monaco for a record transfer for a teenager and although LVG is a big fan of the player, he had the following to say to executive-season-ticket holders at an event on Wednesday about their most-expensive acquisition during yet another busy transfer window.
“It was a ridiculous amount of money, but it’s the crazy world we are in,” Van Gaal said. “United are routinely quoted £10 million ($15 million) more for a player but I have not bought Martial for me. I have bought him for the next manager of Manchester United.”
Separately, a report from The Times in the UK claims that several senior players at United have voiced their concerns over LVG’s tactics and man-management.
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According to the report a number of experienced players at Old Trafford have questioned Van Gaal’s coaching methods over the past few weeks, as the Red Devils have scored just three times in their opening four games of the season while the players have become increasingly concerned about the teams lack of flexibility. One of the main issues the senior players have is that training has become too rigid and is impacting performances and creativity. Ahead of their huge derby against Liverpool on Saturday, these concerns leaking into the public domain will be far from ideal for LVG as he aims to get United challenging for the title (they are already five points off the pace set by city neighbors Manchester City) in his second season in charge.
Finally, in a day full of juicy United notes, LVG also admitted he expects his assistant manager, Ryan Giggs, to take over as manager when the 64-year-old’s reign is over. Van Gaal is contracted to United until the end of the 2016-17 season, but no talks have been held about his future beyond that. According to LVG, that doesn’t really matter as Giggsy is waiting in the wings.
“I feel like I am introducing the next manager of Manchester United,” van Gaal said when introducing Giggs at the event on Wednesday.
United fans, take a breath. What do you make of all that?
Overpaying for Martial. Giggs to be the new manager. Talk of a player revolt at Carrington… Woof.