Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal was in typically stern mood in a press conference this evening.
Van Gaal was speaking ahead of the friendly match with Barcelona that takes place tomorrow at 9pm BST. United have won both of their pre-season games so far, 1-0 against Club America and 3-1 against San Jose Earthquakes, but against the European Champions, the Reds are bound to face a much sterner test.
After confirming that Angel Di Maria would arrive in the US tomorrow – with Javier Hernandez and Marcos Rojo – to join up with his Manchester United team-mates, Van Gaal was very clear. ‘I am not answering questions about transfers, or the process of transfers,’ he said.
Di Maria will not play – and neither are Hernandez or Rojo expected to – after joining up late. They will instead work on their fitness with the group, as is usually the way that Van Gaal works. Another player missing will be Bastian Schweinsteiger who has picked up a minor injury (the manager saying ‘I don’t take risks in preparation’), although David De Gea is expected to take to the field for his first appearance of pre-season.
The manager confirmed that the team he selects from the start tomorrow may well be the team that starts the Premier League season for United against Spurs in two weeks’ time.
However, the manager said he is not too concerned about using the game as a barometer of where United are. ‘The performance is much more important than the result in pre-season but I would be very happy to win,’ he admitted.