Goalkeeper David de Gea still “has the same problem” of not being in the right frame of mind and is out of the squad for Manchester United’s second Premier League fixture of the season against Aston Villa, manager Louis van Gaal said on Thursday.
The Spaniard missed last weekend’s season-opening 1-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur after Van Gaal felt the 24-year-old might not be focused amid persistent media reports linking the goalkeeper with a move to Real Madrid.
“There’s no difference. The transfer period is still open and he (De Gea) has still the same problem,” Van Gaal told a news conference.
Sergio Romero, who signed for United last month on a free transfer from Sampdoria, is expected to continue in goal when Van Gaal’s side travel to Villa Park on Friday.
Van Gaal also responded to comments from Hristo Stoichkov, who played under the Dutchman at Barcelona, after the former Bulgaria international said the United boss “destroys” clubs and urged Barcelona’s Pedro not to move to Old Trafford.
“I always want to consider who is saying such things and then I know already why,” Van Gaal said.
“It is not bothering me. He (Stoichkov) is one of the players I sent away (from Barcelona) and that is why he is doing that. I’m used to that.”
Van Gaal endured a difficult start to life at Old Trafford last season as United claimed 13 points from 10 league matches.
United signed a host of players ahead of the current campaign and the Dutchman hopes the integration of his new recruits does not have a similar impact on early season results.
“You have to survive the start. You have new players, a new team, a new team process, the team dynamics are different, so every team has to sustain this period because nobody is 100 percent fit and they have to play,” he said.
“I think that we have to pay attention to it and develop, but it cannot cost as many points as last year.”
Despite signing expensive recruits like Bastian Schweinsteiger, Morgan Schneiderlin and Memphis Depay, Van Gaal is still looking to strengthen his squad before the transfer window closes.
“Our aim is to improve our squad and when it is possible we shall do it,” he said. “I have said more than once that we only buy when we think it is a contribution for our squad.”