Louis van Gaal has claimed that David de Gea does not want to play for Manchester United following a pre-match exchange with a journalist.
Tony Barrett of the Times posed the question about the Real Madrid target’s continued absence from the Red Devils’ squad after the Dutchman’s Press conference for Friday’s Premier League match against Aston Villa.
“Frans Hoek, he has a meeting with David de Gea and he asks him, ‘do you want to play?’” the manager is quoted by BBC Sport as saying.
The Dutchman then replied “no” when the reporter pressed him for De Gea’s response.
However, in a statement later released by the club, United said: “The manager wants to clarify that the direct answer from David was not ‘no’.
“David was not eager to play because of the situation and because he was not 100 percent focused due to all the rumours surrounding him.”
Van Gaal also confessed his admiration for Pedro Rodriguez, given his desire to sign a player who possesses speed and creativity in abundance, but insisted he did not know whether the forward wanted to leave Barcelona.
“Pedro is a player like [the one I’m looking for], so write it,” he added.
“You have to ask Pedro [if he wants to leave Barca], not me.
“I don’t mention anything before he has signed. When he has signed I come to you and say, ‘hey, Pedro is here’. That is not the case and we shall wait and see.”