Monday 3 August 2015

Manchester United's Spanish players unhappy with Van Gaal over Victor Valdes treatment

Louis van Gaal has risked upsetting his Spanish stars on the eve of the new Premier League season by banishing goalkeeper Victor Valdes from Manchester United’s senior squad.

Valdes, who only signed an 18-month contract at Old Trafford in January, had already been axed from the club’s pre-season tour of the America after Van Gaal accused him of refusing to play in an Under-21 game last season.

When the players returned to Carrington on Sunday, Valdes discovered that his training gear had been moved to the dressing-room designated for the Under-21s, and was then told that he would no longer be involved with the first-team.

The 33-year-old - who is keen to stay in the Barclays Premier League - trained and even ate lunch on his own on Monday.

Van Gaal’s hard-line stance is said to have dismayed Valdes’s fellow Spaniards David de Gea, Juan Mata and Ander Herrera, as well as other Spanish speakers such as Antonio Valencia, although they have not made their feelings known to the manager.

While they accept that the popular Valdes will be sold, they believe that a senior player who has won the World Cup with Spain and Champions League three times at Barcelona deserves more respect.

Van Gaal has signed Sergio Romero to replace Valdes as No 2 to De Gea, but it remains uncertain who will start in goal when United kick off the new season at home to Tottenham in four days’ time.

De Gea is the obvious choice but he continues to be pursued by Real Madrid and looked out of sorts during a 45-minute appearance in United’s final tour game against Paris Saint-Germain last week.

Romero has yet to appear for his new club but is expected to feature in a behind-closed-doors friendly this week, while young Sam Johnstone played the most minutes on tour.

Speaking about Valdes last month, Van Gaal said: 'Valdes is not selected [for the tour] because he doesn't follow my philosophy. The philosophy is how you play football and how you maintain your match rhythm,' said Van Gaal.

'He refused last year to play in the second team. There are a lot of other aspects in the philosophy how you have to play like a goalkeeper at Manchester United. When you are not willing [to apply] the principles of that philosophy there is only one way, and that is out.

'For us this is a big disappointment. We thought he would follow our philosophy. It's a pity because we have given the opportunity to rehabilitate. Then we gave a contract. Then of course he is fit to play. When you're not playing in the first selection, you have to play in the second selection.'
Credit: SportsMail

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