Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal would prefer FA Cup over Europa League

Lifting the Europa League would see the struggling North West outfit qualify for the Champions League

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The Independent Football

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal says he would prefer his side to win the FA Cup this season but recognises the importance of lifting the Europa League. 

The Dutchman was speaking ahead of the round-of-32 clash with Midtjylland, a match he will have to negotiate without injured captain Wayne Rooney, in the wake of the 2-1 defeat to Sunderland, maintaining a six point gap to the top four.

Victory in the Europa League would secure Champions League qualification via an unconventional route but Van Gaal, who won both the Uefa Cup and Champions League with Ajax in the 1990s, says the romance of the FA Cup is hard to ignore.

“My personal wish is to win the FA Cup,” he said in Denmark on Wednesday evening.

“I have already won the Uefa Cup and I want to win a title in England. That is why I have come to this country, to make Manchester United champions or give them a title.

“But I understand -- for Manchester United it is much more important to win the Europa League because it will give us the Champions League. It is not only my best route, but ours I think.”

The Red Devils are without 12 players for the match tonight, including including full-backs Matteo Darmian and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson.